In Laurey's "The Shattered Stone," Alys is homeless after a plague takes her parents and she travels west with hope of finding kin. A woman traveling alone is not welcome though, so when Ranald ven Strad, an envoy for the monarch, offers to be her escort, she accepts. Ranald hopes that Alys' kin can help him locate the monarch's nephew, who disappeared years ago. Both Alys and Ranald are keeping secrets, including their attraction to one another.

Li is half-elf, half-human in "After the Rain" by Wilder. She is cast out by her elf father due to her desire to live as a human, and finds a job in a household as a servant. When a freak storm destroys a figurine she's responsible for, Li is taken captive by an elf who looks just like it. He claims to be Prince Nikolaz from Riverhaven, who disappeared a hundred seasons ago. Now he is returning home and taking Li with him.

Once again, these two authors bring alive fascinating worlds of magic and fantasy. These are wonderfully imaginative stories whose only flaw is that they end too soon. (Sep., 174 pp., $14.99)
Reviewed by: 
Susan Mobley