Ritual of Proof
William Morrow, June, 2001.
Hardcover, 368 pages.
The planet Forus was founded hundreds of years ago by female colonists from a place called Originpoint, whose society sounded a great deal like Regency-period England. But the founders wanted no part of a ton where the women made debuts and hoped to snag a rich husband. In the new world, women are the rulers and men are the sheltered veils whose virtue must be protected until they are properly "fastened" to a She-Lord who will pay a large bedprice for an eligible male. Men are valued in this society only for their looks or their property. Handsome Jorlan Reynard with his black hair, aqua eyes, and fantastic family wealth is the catch of the season, an idea which he finds totally repulsive. He longs for a world where men and women are equal partners. Powerful She-lord Green Tamryn has never felt the need to take a name-bearer, until she meets Jorlan, the grandson of Anya, an old friend. Much to the fury of her arch-rival, the odious and ruthless Claudine, Green makes an offer for Jorlan, which Anya accepts. Attracted to Green, but furious at being treated like property, Jorlan is duly married to Green. As Green and Jorlan get to know each other, they are swept up into a world of treachery, discovery and a primal passion which could destroy their entire society.
Dara Joy is a remarkable and unique talent. Ritual of Proof is a clever parody of Regency England, with complete role reversal. The world of Forus is a mysterious one, indeed, and Joy excels at creating magical, fantastic surroundings. The storyline is filled with sensuality, passion and excitement, and the unique world of Forus is simply enthralling. Dara Joy has a unique spin on the traditional romance tale, and the additional fantasy elements make for truly gripping reading. She is definitely an author to watch.
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This review was published in the July, 2001 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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