Chadyk Commander Rathyn watches his men fight the Syrithian warriors when a woman glides into a clearing near him. Transfixed by her arrival, he orders her to surrender just after she sees him. Rathyn doesn't realize that she's the Syrithian Queen Mariah, but he finds out soon enough, when the Chadyks win the battle.

Mariah vows vengeance against the Chadyks, who killed her sister and devastated her homeland. She judges all Chadyk people by Rathyn's predecessor, Marcus the Butcher, but the more Mariah interacts with Rathyn the more she comes to believe he's different. Can she trust him—and will she trust her judgment when the time comes?

This fantasy is totally captivating, and the multifaceted story appeals on many levels. Fantasy is woven into the romance in a way that will satisfy even the most demanding reader of both genres. (Jan., 340 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathy Boswell