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Wren's Quest    by Sherwood Smith order for
Wren's Quest
by Sherwood Smith
Order:  USA  Can
Firebird, 2004 (1993)
Hardcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This follows Wren to the Rescue as the second in a series starring four young people - princess Teressa raised in an orphanage, her friend (and true orphan) Wren, magic apprentice Tyron, and Tess's young uncle (and failed magician) Connor. In the first episode, Tess was kidnapped by sorcerous neighboring King Andreus, and the other three rescued her.

Now, Wren plans a break from magic studies (after passing her Basics Test) to seek her origins. Connor, on the other hand, yearns to escape his family, especially Duke Fortian and cousin Garian (who taunts him as 'Lackland'). The level of dissent at court is, indeed, so high that it seems that someone is working magical mischief. And Wren's test has an unexpected addition, an attack by lightning! Trouble escalates to the point that Connor is sent away secretly with Wren when she departs in search of any remnants of her roots. En route, he shares his ambition to become a playwright, and his play, with her.

They are pursued by Fortian's soldiers, attacked by bandits, watched by spybirds, and almost engulfed in a forest fire. They leap off a cliff into another habitat, where the duo find out more about the powers that Connor inherited from his Iyon Daiyin ancestor, who were apparently 'folk from another world'. Tyron and Tess have their own adventures as the former shapechanges in an effort to find out who their enemy is. Unfortunately for Tyron, said enemy has more eyes on them than they know. After Wren succeeds in her own quest, she and Connor must rush back to Tyron's rescue, to find an endangered princess once more.

Though not quite as exciting as the first and third in the series, Wren's Quest is still engrossing, as we watch Tess learn more about being a ruler, and the other three gradually grow in magic and maturity - I especially like the fact that they remain friends, and that it's unclear whether they want to pair off in any fashion. Do read this series, which is engaging and fun.

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