PATH OF FATE

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