A pretty Penny, October 15, 2001
Reviewer: Kimball Waites
Despite the large amount of mediocre fantasy being
pumped out these days, there are rare treasures still to be found. One of these is "The Penny Prophecy". Emma Sharon Rich
turns a beautiful tale with protagonists that are well rounded and interesting. These are not just your cut and paste characters.
Aliane is smart, strong-willed and beautiful, but she is also naive and easily manipulated. And while his part in the novel
is relatively small, Thalan is a character worth getting to know.
The main antagonist in the story, Jaerak Thorin, is
not only evil, he is intelligent and seductive. Despite his obvious black-hearted nature, Rich is able to make the reader
hope that Jaerak Thorin is not as bad as he appears. Much like other loved villains, one hopes Jaerak may be redeemed from
his evil ways.
The story is full of the lore of Ms. Rich's world which
adds depth and history to the story. With the captivating style of storytelling, this book is truly a gem waiting to be found!
Entertaining and Captivating, July 26, 2001
Reviewer: Rhonda Eudaly from Fort Worth, TX United
Emma Sharon Rich's "The Penny Prophesy" will captivate your imagination and keep you reading beyond the very end.
Through the well rounded characters and colorful imagery, the reader finds themselves wanting to know more about the characters
and caring about what happens to them. Emma's universe is full of danger, desire, and magic - all the things that delight
the mind and senses. It is all one expects to find in quality fantasy and more.
A really fun read Revewer: Jennifer
Doke April 15, 2002, It's been a long time since I have gotten this engrossed in a book. Rich has a talent for beautiful use
of words and imagery that is seldom seen in the writing coming out these days. I was instantly drawn into the story, and sometimes
I had to tell myself to slow down when I was reading, so that I wouldn't miss anything! But I was just so anxious to see what
the characters were going to do next, that it got away from me a couple of times. What an exciting book ! I cannot wait to
read the next one!
Will Someone Please Tell Ms. Rich to Write Faster?!
Reviewer: Kristin, September 6, 2001,
It was with great
trepidation that I picked up The Penny Prophesy, as I'm a very picky reader and not prone to reading new authors. By the end
of the first chapter I was hooked. Ms. Rich's book follows many of the rules of a great fantasy novel - with superior pacing,
enough detail to flesh out her world, and truly unique twists and turns. Her greatest strength, though, is in her characters.
They are thoughtfully developed and genuine. Aliane in particular is very real, and very refreshing. My only problem is that
I didn't realize that this was to be the first book in a series. Now I find myself eagerly waiting for Ms. Rich's next book!
The Princess and The Prophecy
Reviewer: Marta Boswell, a Ph.D. in English, July 23, 2001,
Feisty princess escapes
castle, falls in with sympathetic companions, joins quest. We know this story, right? Not quite. Said princess is a loyal
daughter, an excellent sword fighter, a powerful if untrained user of magic, and anything but the standard royal brat turned
heroine by hardship. She draws her strength from the love of family and friends, and unlike so many tortured genre heroines,
returns it in full. Rich's *The Penny Prophecy* is a well-written first novel that's gotten much less attention than it deserves.
Her heroine, Aliane, and her two companions, Gwynne and Thalan, are richly imagined, as is their chief nemesis, Jaerak. Perhaps
the most interesting element of Rich's novel is its exploration of gender roles in the mythos surrounding The Eye of Truth,
a woman prophesied to come in messianic splendor to save the warring kingdoms from themselves and to free the magic users
within each realm to practice their healing arts once again. Aside from the prophecies, the real women of Rich's novel are
powerful in their own right, though not always kind, and the men she draws for us, most of them, are capable of the same tender
compassion that Aliane herself shares with such facility. The world building is deft and seamless. The action and the dialogue
will keep you reading long after your bedtime, whatever that may be.