In this beautifully written novel, a karavan is traveling out of the land of Sancorra, which has been recently conquered by the brutal Hecari. Joining at the last moment are Audrun and her family, refugees who have lost nearly everything but their lives to the Hecari.
Also in the karavan is Rhuan, a member of the mysterious race called the Shoia, and Ilona, a diviner with a curious connection to Audrun. The reason for the karavans is Alisanos, a sentient forest that can do terrible things to those trapped within, and there is protection in numbers.
What starts out as a simple tale of refugees escaping a war-torn land quickly becomes something more, as Alisanos wakes up and begins to move. All the characters are beautifully drawn, and Roberson has uncannily lyrical phrasing. (Apr., 440 pp., $25.95)