A Ranger’s Tale: Mysti Parker
When someone’s life is programmed and they decide to rewrite it in their own way they often encounter many obstacles along the way blocking their path and hindering them from achieving their desired goals. Caliphany’s parents have always been inclined to have her follow in her father’s footsteps as a mage. But, that’s not what she aspires to be. Her father is dominant, controlling and refuses to understand that his daughter does not want the same things life he does. Caliphany is smart and resourceful as we learn at the start of the novel. However, no matter how hard she tries to complete her lessons, create the required wizardry taught by her instructors some calamity befalls her and things never turn out right and in some cases not for the instructor who needs protection from his student in more ways than one. But, she is headstrong and although pretty much living in a guarded environment at times she ventures out alone and one encounter would not only change the complexion of her life, her ideals and more but create more friction between her and her father. Caliphany ventures to the docks and finds herself at the hand of some men who begin to rough her up and have other ideas for our princess.
As she fights to free herself a young captain, who experienced a tragedy at a young age, comes to her rescue and the connection between them is instant. Galadin was taken from his parents at a young age and the end result would be working on a pirate ship. As the now installed captain he manages to free her from her captors, using brute force to make his point in order to save her from being kidnapped. Hoping to properly thank this young man, she convinces her companion and friend Juliana to allow her to return to the docks for a specific purpose. Venturing out she enlists Galadin in a secret venture that she hopes will finally free her from mage bondage as she might say if she could express it to readers and allow her to pursue the career she wanted. Imagine a princess becoming a Ranger and being taught how to shoot arrows.
Told in the first person narrative alternating between Caliphany and Galadin the reader gets inside the minds of both characters as they take us through what we hope will be a romantic journey with a happy ending. But, not every story or romance is without obstacles, betrayals and deceit and this one has quite a few. As Caliphany takes on her lessons with Galadin she becomes quite good at archery, tries to wield a sword and then learns how to create and institute an invisibility spell which I think many teens or young adults might think worthwhile. Added in we hear their conversations, eavesdrop on their inner most thoughts as each one bares the truths about their lives to each other in different ways. Galadin losing his father at an early age and he describes how and what caused him to become a pirate. Caliphany explains her bondage or mode of slavery in quite a different manner. Both seeking the approval of the other as tensions mount and the electricity flows. But, all things came to an end and Caliphany’s trust is betrayed when her father reveals he knows the truth about what she has been doing and the end result is anything but what you would expect someone to do to her. Added in we learn more about his goals for her, her straightforward comments and her stubbornness in not giving into what her parent’s want. So, what will happen to her and will she remain locked away in a storage room until she acquiesces to her father’s wishes?
Truths revealed in private, betrayals uncovered and then Caliphany’s move to release herself will definitely surprise Galadin when she lands right you might say on his doorstep in a manner of speaking. The niece of the King and the truth revealed to him what will he do with her and what will happen when the King finds out what her father did?
How does she escape and what part does Galadin play as the tension rises and the excitement runs through both of their veins. When things begin to change and he leaves her in Faewood, Galadin worries about her and what happens next will certainly surprise the reader, as he has no choice but to rescue her, take her along with him when the King announces she is missing. How they get away, who they tell everyone she is just adds some humor to the story and we begin to realize that they just might wind up together but there are more hurdles to overcome and Cali as he calls her needs to reconcile just who she is and what kind of life she really wants. Hunting, shooting arrows, killing animals and living off the land seems to make her soar and using whatever spells or incantations she remembers just might keep them both alive. He is part elfin and she is all elfin. One parent human and the other elfin caused his mother to be killed by pirates and Galadin kidnapped and doing their bidding. But, what will happen if her father finds her and will her disguise hold out? Things change as she and Galadin decide to marry and Cali returns home alone. A bad storm occurs while she is away, her father’s wrath at her choices comes through and her life changes when she thinks he is gone.
Enter the King and his off for her to come work for his secret organization to train others to in the skills she has now acquired. But, one young man named Jayden has other ideas for her and although he claims to be training her, her skills are stifled and her thoughts return to Galadin and not wanting to believe he is gone. When Cali learns she is about to have his child and her condition changes what will the end result be?
Author Misti Parker brings to light many important issues some face today. What happens when people of different races you might want to be together? What happens when someone of higher stations falls for someone in a different class? What happens when two people feel they belong together and parents have other ideas? Some families insist on prearranged marriages. Some are decided when their children are very young and others later in life. When Cali decides to rebel the end result is what has already occurred and when she approaches her father things get out of control and when forced to leave her life takes on a different turn without Galadin.
Events change relationships come about and Cali realizes that she wants someone else in her life. With Jayden pursuing her and her guard you might say down they begin to bond but does he have another motive for wanting to marry her?
Hoping to do more to help people and use her skills as a Ranger when her uncle requests that she, Jayden and others guard her father on a mission, she readily accepts. But, what happens will surprise the reader and the reason for the mission will come clear, as lives are lost, the person behind the murder is revealed and the tensions rise between Cali and Jayden. Betrayals, lies, deceits and a harsh reality hit her in the face, as someone she trusted proved more than unworthy. Just what really did happen to Galadin and who was behind the blast on his ship?
When all the players are brought together and truths are revealed just whose heart will be broken and who will win the golden arrow that Cali shoots to keep her heart? Fear, lies, deaths, questions left unanswered, harsh realities faced and one woman named Cali in the middle of what you might say a triangle has to determine just which side she is on. Author Mysti Parker’s plot is realistic, characters true to life and a story that will bring tears to your eyes, anger at times within your heart and hope that someone will prevail before another spell is cast and more lives are lost. Is Cali really bad news to both men? What’s her final fate? Read A Ranger’s Tale and find out. You never know she might come back again in another novel. A romantic novel with its own special twists and turns. A definite must summer read.
Fran Lewis: reviewer