After a job-gone-wrong, accomplished thief and liar Digger is forced to flee the perilous city of Gerse. Sheer luck leads her into the hands of four young "nobs," or nobles, out for a cruise on their river boat. They offer her passage out of the city. Digger, under the pseudonym of Celyn Contrare, accepts the offer. On the boat, she notices that one of the nobles, a girl named Merista Nemair, seems to have a propensity to magic, a dangerous thing in Gerse where magic is forbidden. She does not mention this, though, for to mention it would reveal that she, too, has an affinity to magic.
Digger is taken to the home of the Nemairs, the parents of Merista Nemair. There, she is offered the position as Merista's lady's maid, a position she accepts. Later, this position obliges her to travel with the family to their keep called Bryn Shaer, where they will celebrate Merista's coming-of-age birthday. At first, all seems well and good. But then comes Lord Remy Daul, a supposed friend of Merista's father, with a bitter secret and vengeful heart bent on destroying the Nemair fanily. With his arrival, Digger's world is turned upside down, and when Daul discovers her true nature, he blackmails her into assisting him with the search that will, he hope, lead to the Nemair's downfall.
Full of unexpected twists and surprising characters, STARCROSSED is an engaging, fascinating read.
I really enjoyed this story. The first chapter was a race to read, moved along very quickly, and kept my interest completely captivated. The next few chapters, when Digger is escaping Gerse and meeting the young nobles, is a bit on the slow side, but I understand the reason of this because the author is introducing us to the complex world of Llyvaraneth, with all its politics, classes of people, and beliefs. Once I reached Bryn Shaer, though, I didn't want to put the book down until I'd completely finished.
There are "religions" in this story, as well as reference to gods and goddesses, and though I don't approve of gods and goddesses in my fantasies, the author handled it with grace and skill. She did not shove it down your throat. It was simply presented as a way of life.
Digger was an empathetic character. She was believable, captivating, and spunky without being a brat. She had a sense of honour about her, and unexpected determination to do what she felt was right.
Perhaps one of the things that I didn't like, and "censored" as I read, were the subtle innuendos and slightly offish descriptions that very, very lightly peppered this book.
I would probably have given this book at least four-and-a-half stars, were it not for the offish bits. However, because of that, I offer her four stars.