Title: Regina's Song Authors: David & Leigh Eddings Genre: Psychological thriller
When a guy is famous for being a unique writer in the narrow genre of fantasy epics, it is not unusual to hesitate reading his attempt in a different genre. You just know all the usual things you love about David Eddings won't be in a psychological thriller. No funny sorcerors and no witty gods in this book. And how the hell would the Eddingses put irreverence into a serious book that Amazon.com put in the horror section?
Strangely enough, the married couple actually manage it. As you go through the book and get to know the characters, even if didn't know its author, you can tell that this book was written by Eddings. The characters of Regina's Song are distinctly Eddings'.
Regina and Renata are a pair of twins so identical, when one of them is raped and murdered and the other one goes mad, no one knows which twin died. Regina's Song is about the surviving twin, who wakes up after the murder of her twin sister with nearly complete amnesia. Yet, she immediately recognizes Mark, the narrator and protagonist of this story, who knew the twins since they were born.
Since the twin only remembers Mark, Mark takes on the responsibility of watching over the girl's mental recovery. The girl recovers enough to get out of the private mental house she was in, and starts getting nightmares, which makes Mark worry that she'll go right back into the mental house. Then to make it worse, Mark begins to suspect that there's a connection between the twin's nightmares and a series of murders....
The tone of the book is more serious and grittier than Eddings' fantasy epics. It's set around the 1990's, and is more realistic as well. Despite its realism, the Eddingses still put in a little magic, well-placed and very satisfying.
As I mentioned, the characters are what make the book an Eddings book. Despite the horror and intensity of their situation, the characters quip, and interact in such a manner that you'll want to laugh in the middle of intense worry and frustration.
The characters are diverse and hilarious. The conversations are fascinatingly witty. The plot, however, travels strangely. Traditionally, in a thriller, you expect the danger to build up slowly and climax into an ending. The Eddingses have chosen a unique path, however, and everyone gets out of physical danger somewhere just past the middle. Suddenly, you find yourself in the Eddingses' version of Ally McBeal and the sudden turnaround is a bit disconcerting.
All ends well, despite the momentary mental disturbance, and the ending is poignant. In short, I like the book. Better than Redemption of Althalus (a stand-alone fantasy, also by the Eddingses).
Having warned you about the sudden tone-change somewhere past the middle of the book, you should all now be able to enjoy the book without any disconcert. The twin is intriguingly engaging, and the other characters are witty, intelligent companions. This book proves that regardless of the genre, the Eddingses produce characters you always love eavesdropping on. HANI # 11:12 PM