This is a slightly revised reissue of Briggs’ long out-of-print first novel — and it is very clearly a first novel. It’s rough and clichéd in places but still quite worth reading, especially for Briggs completists (do note that this is not an urban fantasy).
Aralorn has spent many years as a mercenary spy for Sianim, so when she’s asked to infiltrate the household of the powerful sorcerer Geoffrey ae’Magi she thinks little of it — until she realizes what a danger he is. On her return to Sianim, she reports back to headquarters and discovers that the ae’Magi’s pernicious influence has extended further than she could have imagined and few have the willpower necessary to resist. Accompanied by her mysterious companion, Wolf, Aralorn joins up with the resistance, but it may be a battle that’s impossible to win. (ACE, Oct., 320 pp., $7.99)