Diana Pharaoh Francis' debut, PATH OF FATE (3), may remind readers of Mercedes Lackey's and Kristen Britain's fantasies, with its stubborn heroine and epic scope. When Riesil is chosen for a great honor by the ruling Blessed Lady, she balks, and risks herself and her homeland as a result. A likeable, headstrong heroine is this book's greatest appeal—it's always refreshing to see women take center stage in the traditionally male-centered field of speculative fiction. Inventive details freshen an overused fantasy plot, about a heroine searching for her place and eventually finding her destiny. Unnecessarily difficult names litter the writing and make it tough going at times, but fans of classic coming-of-age fantasy will happily await Riesil's future journeys. (Nov., 369 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jen Talley Exum