THE COMPASS ROSE

Author(s): 
The land of Adara echoes with the legends of the Godstruck, tales of heroes granted powerful magic when the land and its people were threatened. No one has been Godstruck for a millennium, until Capt. Kallista Varyl calls on the One Goddess and is granted unthinkable power.

She is destined to stop a demon-possessed king set on overrunning Adara. Kallista must learn to control her wild magic and find the other Godstruck fated to join her. As she prepares for the battle of a lifetime, she finds not only the fate of Adara in her hands, but the secret wishes of her heart within her reach as well.

In this sprawling romantic fantasy, personal battles are mirrored neatly in large-scale conflicts. Kallista is a convincing heroine, torn between her sworn duty and her desires, and the men she draws are marvelous, larger-than-life characters, with complementary skills set in careful counterpoint.

In matriarchal Adara, Dayton has created an inventive mythology and culture. The ilian, a polyamorous family unit that forms the basis of Adaran society, is coherently woven into the fabric of the story, and the four unique types of magic are well thought out.

Court intrigues and romantic interludes keep the plot moving at a brisk pace as the final battle draws near. The story is brought to a stunning close, but fortunately there are more adventures planned for Kallista and her companions. (Mar., 496 pp., $13.95)
Reviewed by: 
Jen Talley Exum