Thursday, May 24, 2012

Finder Voice by Carla Speed McNeil

Anvard is a society split in to clans, and Rachel Grosvenor is the daughter of a Medawar father and a Llaverac mother.  Rachel has worked long and hard to be part of the contest to be admitted to the Llaverac clan.  Being accepted in to the clan will secure her family's future.  Only days before the final competition, her mother's Llaverac heirloom ring is stolen, and Rachel can't compete without it.  Now she has to find a Finder to help her get it back, and in doing so she uncovers more of Anvard then she ever wanted to.

Voice is actually the 9th volume of the Finder series, but it was especially written to be a jumping on place for people who hadn't read the whole series. Now that I've read this though, I absolutely want to go back and read it from the beginning.  The world is fascinating, as are all the clans. The Llaverac clan values beauty and drama, and everyone, males included, have female sex characteristics.  The Medawar focus in medicine and criminal justice.  There are many other clans, all with a particular focus and specific values.

The Llaverac have this whole competition, which mostly focuses on physical beauty, which is ridiculous because all Llaverac look almost identical.  There's some interesting commentary on the importance of appearances and keeping up appearances.  Rachel has to have her mother's ring, even though everyone knows that her mother is a full clan member.  It doesn't matter, Rachel has to actually have the ring on her.

In her search for a Finder to track down her ring, Rachel ventures outside her usually safe places in Anvard and begins to see other sides to her city.  She begins to really understand how important it is to be part of a clan.  If you're not, you're nothing, and it can be dangerous.

I'm not sure if I really understood everything that was happening.  I was certainly able to enjoy it, but I wished I understood the world better.  Which is why I'm going to go back to the beginning and read the whole series.

Rachel is an interesting character.  She's tough and determined, but she doesn't really know what she's doing.  She's grown up not really part of any world (intermarriage between clans is not looked on favorably), but it seems like she was sheltered.   Now she's trying to gain entry to her mother's clan, mostly so that she can provide for her family, in particular her little sister and her father, who seems to be out of his mind.  Not totally sure what's going on with him.

Looking forward to following this series.

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