The Gift – The Chronicles of Tucker Littlefield by Tegon Maus
This novel is told from the perspective of Tucker Littlefield, who, before threatened into an affair which does not involve him, is a fairly ordinary man. But he has a knack and reputation for being self-interested. It is one such act of “selfish heroism,” which traps him in what seems an unfair situation. In attempt to win the king’s gratitude, Littlefield pulls Elizabeth, the king’s seven-year-old niece, into safety during an attack by the Jonda. Even so, the Jonda manage to escape with child.
It is Eloise, Elizabeth’s fierce but emotional nanny, who threatens Littlefield into bringing the child back to safety. Although she knows the man only by reputation, she is desperate and believes he will be able to do the job. Along with Enon – an insightful Jonda who struggles with speaking common – two other Jonda, Bowen and Spath, and Enon’s dog, Littlefield sets out to rescue the girl. But it is no easy road which twists ahead. Littlefield and his companions face not only the hardships of their differences, but the power of outside forces working against them.
There isn’t an instant of inaction in this piece. Around every corner, under every stone, in every pit, there something exciting and unexpected lurking. Just when Maus has his readers believing that everything is going to be all right, the antagonist’s trump card is played, throwing us into a whole new series of vicious, riveting battles that have us wincing and crying right along with the characters