THE BARBED ROSE

Author(s): 
In this middle book of the One Rose trilogy, Kallista Varyl is returning to the capital city of Arikon by order of the Reinine. Separated from her infant twin daughters and three of her spouses -- called iliasti in the polyamorous society of Adara -- she is surprised but not terribly shocked to discover that another Godmarked individual has been found to join their ilian.

This is a worthy successor to the first novel in the trilogy, seamlessly continuing the story where it left off while adding new complications and characters. The ilian has been separated into two groups in this book and, while the secondary plot is rather sketchily drawn, the main one is so well done that it hardly matters.

Of greater concern are the poorly described battle scenes, which seem to finish before they even start. Overall, though, this is a strong novel, and there are enough plot twists to keep the reader interested. Kallista continues to be a compelling heroine whose adventures are a pleasure to follow. (Mar., 448 pp., $13.95)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs