Sunday, August 3, 2014

An Exchange of Gifts

I saw Anne McCaffrey's An Exchange of Gifts when I was at work.  I've read another one of McCaffrey's novellas a long time ago and liked it; this one sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a read.

Meanne (aka Princess Anastasia de Saumur et Navarre y Cordova) has a Gift entirely unsuitable to a princess: she can make plants grow and create healing potions and salves out of them.  So rather than being denied her birthright (and being forced into marrying someone she does not know), Meanne runs away, faking her death so no one will come looking for her.  She makes her way to an abandoned cottage she remembers visiting as a child.  Unfortunately she didn't realize just how much work living on her own would be.

Luckily, a young boy named Wisp comes to her rescue.  He has run away from who knows where, having the scars on his back as a memento.  Wisp befriends her, helping to teach her how to survive.  Together, the two build an idyllic life, caring for Meanne's plants and snaring small animals.

But after Wisp talks Meanne into going to the local village's monthly market, Meanne's past catches up with her.  She faked her death too well, and her father has sent his men throughout the kingdom to find her murderers.  But now Wisp knows who she is, too.  Things come to a head between them as he finally reveals who he is, what exactly happened to him, and what incredible Gift he has.

An Exchange of Gifts was an excellent read.  I loved it enough to buy my own copy from Amazon (along with another of her novellas, If Wishes Were Horses).  I can't wait to get them!

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