Priestess of the White by Trudi Canavan (Age if the Five 1)

This is the tale of a magically gifted girl, Auraya. Her potential is discovered when warriors from across the mountains take her village hostage to stop an alliance between their country and Aurayas. She resolve the conflict and are recruited to the priesthood as a result. Then we skip a couple of years and meet her again as she is elected to the White and become one of the five imortal representatives of the gods.

Auraya was taught healing methods and the ways of the Dreamweavers, persecuted heathen healers, as a little girl. Now when she must negotiate an alliance with a country where Dreamweavers are a major power not forbidden to heal like in the circle. She resolve the problem by taking her old teacher Leiard as a Dreamweaver advisor and using his advise to finalize the alliance. Eventually they become lovers before Auraya leave for the Siyee. They decide to keep their affair secret even form Arayas fellow Whites.

Auraya is given a charming little creature as a pet from one of the ambassadors. She name him Mischief.

The Circle is a religion of five gods that have given name to “The Age of the Five”, they fought “The War of the Gods” some thousand years ago where they killed all the other gods. The time before the war is called “The Age of the Many”. The Circle also killed “the Wilds”, gifted humans whos gift have made them immortal. One they killed was Mirar, the founder of the Dreamweavers. He preached free will and that each and everyone should be free to choose if they wanted to worship any god. The gods have ordained that all of the northern lands should be united under the Circle.

Opposing the Circle are the Pentadians who seems to be worshiping five non existing gods. The Southern lands Mur, Avven and Dekkar are governed by the Pentadians. They start to send forays into Circle country. Auraya confronts their leader in a coastal village and are allmost defeated when she fall down a cliff. The leader leaves beliving her dead, but Auraya discover she has the ability to fly. Her new ability makes her the perfect Envoy to the Siyee, a race of flying humans.

We learn to know Tryss the  Siyee. He has invented a way for the Siyee to hunt and fight while flying. He has a cute love story with a Siyee girl named Drilli. Auraya loves the Siyee and they her.

Auraya also goes to the Elaia race of humans adapted to life in the sea. Here an alliance is refused.

Another player in this story is Emerahl, The Hag, an imortal that have evaded the gods. She has lived at the old lighthouse in Corell the last couple of centuries selling healing and cures to the villagers. She is discovered when she saves a girl from her pedophile father. The man is also head of the village and when he brings a priests he forces her to leave. She mostly wanders around in this book.

The Pentadrians invasion and the grand battle ends the first book.

Trudi Canavan is not a bad world builder. I like the concepts and the people. I have to admit I like The Black Magician trilogy better but this one is almost as good. Auraya is a lovable and intriguing character.