Lauria used to be a trusted servant of the military commander Kyros, returning escaped slaves to his household—until she infiltrated the Alashi and learned their ways. Cast out from the Alashi in order to make amends and soothe her troubled conscience, Lauria sets out to liberate those she returned to slavery.

To do so, she apprentices herself to the Sisterhood of Weavers to obtain a spell-chain and the control of a djinni. The spell-chains used to capture the djinni are as beautiful as they are cruel, as are the sorceresses who wield them. Lauria is a fascinating heroine, and her evolution from a woman who only wants to free those she directly affected to one who seeks to free all those who are enslaved, human and spirit alike, is powerful.

Set in an alternate world with roots in the ancient Greek and Persian cultures, this is the second book in Kritzer's Dead Rivers trilogy. But it's a compelling page turner that doesn't read like a middle volume. Kritzer is an accomplished wordsmith, and this series should be required reading for fans of historical fantasy. (May, 356 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs