The ancient spell that banished the Aolian land and people to the aether is dissipating, and the elven Aoi are about to return to Earth. Anne and Hugh work with the mathematici to recreate the banishment spell, but if they succeed, this second displacement will destroy the Earth.

Liath, Anne's pawn no longer, returns from the aether and her maternal family—where she thought she only spent seven days learning to control her non-human fire daimone abilities. When she meets up with her husband Prince Sanglant, she finds out that four years have passed for him! They both have changed and it will take time to discover if they've grown too far apart. Time they don't have, as duty demands they separate once again to stop Anne and Hugh from completing their spell.

THE GATHERING STORM is the fifth volume in Kate Elliott's elaborate Crown of Stars saga. She successfully creates an aura of impending doom; however, numerous story lines and a huge cast of characters create a laborious, hard-to-follow story. (Feb., 624 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Kelly Rae Cooper