Doing full justice to the plot of this original and entertaining epic fantasy is impossible. Suffice it to say that the action is nonstop. The many characters leap to life, particularly Yelena, whose first-person narrative is riveting.

While the Sitian Council debates her ultimate fate, Yelena Liana Zaltana spends her days studying magic and history. The recent discovery that she's a Soulfinder has many on edge; the last one was dangerous and tyrannical. Yelena isn't happy about her change in status, but it's her fate, as she discovers when she travels to her homeland, where a plot led by the Soulstealer Ferde Daviian threatens her clan.

Thwarting Ferde's plan is only the beginning of Yelena's quest for peace; her journey is long and fraught with peril. It brings friends and foes, as well as her lover, Valek, back into her life, but also forces her to confront the extremely powerful Fire Warper, the one being she truly fears. (MIRA, Mar., 448 pp., $13.95)
Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer