Carey writes books about pretty people who go to mysterious places and do amazing things. She was able to sustain this sense of wonder through two trilogies, but the bloom is off the rose in this eighth book set in fantasy Europe and Asia. Moirin is predictably beautiful and imperiled, able to convince nearly everyone to help her because of her appearance and sex appeal and all the villains are ugly, fanatical or both.

Moirin leaves the safety of the Ch’in empire in search of Bao, the peasant boy who holds half of the soul-spark granted to her by the goddess of the Maghuinn Dhonn. As she travels through Tatar territory, Moirin is taken captive by Vralians and placed under the authority of their religious leader, the Patriarch of Riva, who wants nothing more than to convert her to the Yeshuite faith — or to kill her for her many sins. Luckily for Moirin, she is able to escape and follow Bao’s trail south to the mystical country of Bhaktipur, where her presence will not only topple a villainous ruler but will also serve as a catalyst to sweeping social reform. (Grand Central, Jun., 576 pp., $26.99)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs