The voices of Felix, Mildmay and Kay ring out from the pages of this wonderfully paced and beautifully written final book in the Melusine quartet. Monette's strongest suit is her ability to create memorable and striking characters, and this book is no exception. Healing, reconciliation, sacrifice and forgiveness are key themes, as is friendship and family -- both of choice and of blood. Monette's lush prose is captivating, and readers should take the time to savor each and every word.
Convicted of heresy, Cabaline wizard Felix Harrowgate and his half-brother Mildmay travel from Melusine to Corambis, where Felix has been instructed to place himself at the mercy of a ruling body of wizards. They arrive there in the aftermath of a civil war in which the southern half of the country wants to restore its lost monarchy.
Kay Brightmore, one of the leaders of the insurrection, is the only one who survived the disastrous attempt to revive the ancient engine that lives beneath the labyrinth at Summerdown. Blinded in the aftermath and then displayed as a trophy by the victorious Corambans, he also eventually makes his way to the capital of Corambis, where his path crosses that of Felix and Mildmay. It's a good thing that it does, for the unlikely friendship that develops between the three is the only thing that can slake the engine's terrible thirst, one that destroys all it touches. (ACE, Apr., 432 pp., $24.95)