Jo Walton completes her alternate version of Arthurian legend. With lyrical prose and meticulous attention to detail, Ms. Walton creates a wholly believable world that allows ancient land magic to coexist with the jealous White Gods new religion.

Sulien ap Gwien first learns of civil unrest after being poisoned by her sister. Fleeing to her own estate where the land can heal her, she encounters further members of the conspiracy under her own roof.

Appalled at the breadth of the conspiracy among former allies, she rushes to lend aid to King Urdo, pledging her warriors and her expertise. By this time, Morthu has already poisoned the King's reputation among the lesser kings via skillfully staged skirmishes and specious criticism. Some supporters still believe in the kings peace and fight, father against son, wife against husband.

(Nov., 368 pp., $26.95)

Reviewed by: 
Kelly Rae Cooper