The Legacy of the Sword is one of the weakest books in the series. There are just so many negative events that happen that sometimes it gets a little tedious.
Prince Donal, son of Alix and Duncan, is set to be heir to Carillon. He will be the first Cheysuli Mujhar in more than 400 years. But he doubts himself and he knows that many Homanans do not want him to assume the throne.
Donal struggles with his Cheysuli identity and the need to be acceptable to the Homanans. He finds himself trapped between two worlds, yes, that's a trite way of putting it, but very true. He must marry Carillon's daughter by Electra to secure his place, but doesn't know if she can be trusted. He loves a woman from the Cheysuli clans, but the Homanans do not easily accept mistresses as the Cheysuli do.
Throughout the story, the characters get battered about in so many ways. Donal is betrayed by those he trusts. He does things he will live to regret.
If you're going to read the entire series, however, you really do need to read this book. This is one of those series where skipping a book makes reading the next one difficult.
It's been a long time since I first read Shapechangers. It's one of those books I've owned, oh, since junior high or so. I decided to reread the series again for sentimental reasons since these books don't fall into the class of books I reread regularly.
Shapechangers introduce us to the world of the Cheysuli. The Cheysuli each bond with an animal, called a lir, normally somewhere in their teens. They are a hunted race, as one of them eloped with a Muhjar's (king, more or less) daughter. The child from that union is now grown, but does not know her own history or that she belongs to that race. Instead, she has met the Prince and fantasizes about what they could have together.
It is not to be, of course, as a Cheysuli warrior, Finn, steals Alix and the Prince away, intending to keep Alix. His lir, however, will not let him harm her.
Alix is stubborn throughout the story, refusing to be on the sidelines even when Homana, the country the story takes place in, is invaded and the Prince captured.
The entire series revolves around the tahlmorra of the Cheysuli race and the individual characters' place in it. Tahlmorra speaks of a Cheysuli prophecy, so if prophecy fulfillment type stories annoy you, just stay back!
On the other hand, it allows me to send you off with a song... "The sun will come out, tahlmorra!" Hope you can get it out of your head.