This fifth entry in the Symphony of Ages saga lays the groundwork for a major turning point, as Rhapsody, Ashe and their companions struggle for peace in their adopted homeland. The dragon Anwyn, imprisoned underground for three years, is awakened by the cataclysm that concluded the previous book. She remembers only the person responsible for her imprisonment—Rhapsody—and feels the need for revenge. The Firbolg king, Achmed, discovers the destruction of his glass tower and begins to rebuild, while assassins seeking vengeance stalk him.

There's also the long-anticipated birth of the Child of Time, power struggles and betrayals and a battle to the death between two dragons that presages a war which could encompass the entire world.

Haydon expertly builds suspense, plays with the reader's expectations and remains true to her characters and the world she created. With warmth, humor, and vivid details, the people and places of this saga feel far more alive than standard fantasy heroes and villains usually do.

It's not necessary to have read the entire series, but knowledge of the previous volume, Requiem for the Sun, will make the action easier to understand. (Aug., 464 pp., $27.95)
Reviewed by: 
Jen Talley Exum