Wren Valere only thought her life was complicated. But that was before she signed on with the Silence, a shadowy organization whose purpose seems to be keeping track of magical items. She's been dispatched with her partner, Sergei Didier, to Italy to track down an errant manuscript that makes those who read it disappear.

There's a war brewing between the magicians' guild and the lonejacks—the unaffiliated Talents who are loosely allied with each other and with the Fatae, who are the object of increasing harassment and bigotry.

In this suspenseful and quick read, Gilman maintains the standard set in the first volume of this series—with witty dialogue and banter between Wren and Sergei and further explorations of their growing relationship. Wren and Sergei are opposites in almost every conceivable way, except for their mutual attraction. Gilman has managed the nearly impossible here: a cleverly written and well-balanced fantasy with a strong romantic element that doesn't overpower the main plot. (Jul., 352 pp., $13.95)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs