Trancers have special mind abilities. When Aria’s family realizes she has these special abilities they disown her and send her away. Where does Aria go but to a Tower where other Trancers live so she can learn how to use her abilities. The young Trancer comes to a certain time in her life when it is time for her to become a woman.
This is when Warrior Priests who normally protect the Tower from outsiders come for the Given Ceremony after which the former maiden will take her position as Apprentice to the Elders. During this ceremony each maiden has a vision of who her Giver will be. Talon is Aria’s. There is a special connection between Talon and Aria so he does his best to make things as easy on her as possible. During the deflowering, Aria breaches Talon’s shields and they join souls. This is absolutely forbidden. The losing of her virginity results in a Trancer’s eyes changing color. It can also signal a pregnancy.
Aria awakes one night to find out not only is she in labor but her tower is under attack. She gives birth to a son and being unable to travel sends him off with her best friend in an effort to save his life. Talon arrives back from a mission to find the tower devastated and Aria near death. When Aria recovers she informs Talon that she sent their son off with her best friend. Talon believes that both are dead and vows to avenge his son.
This is where I started to want to smack Talon around. Aria is supposed to have special abilities but Talon is so grief stricken that he refuses to listen to her or make use of her abilities. He wants to do things his way or not all although he does redeem himself before the end of the book. So they set out to find out what happened to their son. Talon already knows who the villain is but decides not to tell Aria.
I found THE GIVEN to be a very well written, intriguing story. Talon is that special type of man who has risen above his beginnings and bettered his life. But when he loses that which is most important he has trouble seeing the good in himself. He also doesn’t want to acknowledge that he just might need help in his quest. I found Aria to be the perfect mate for him. She may be young but she’s definitely no doormat. She believes in herself and in Talon.
If you are looking for something a little different I think THE GIVEN will fill that need. It certainly did mine and I can’t wait for Ms. McClellan’s next book.
Diane Mason, May 2003