Two years after Reisil's triumphant arrival at the stronghold, Kodu Riik is decimated by plague and famine. Now a race of sorcerers is trying to take over. Reisil's unusually strong magical powers are feared by the nobility, while the wizard community attempts to exploit her talents.

Her fellow ahalad-kaaslane distrust her and begin to doubt her loyalty when she is unable to stop the plague from spreading. But Reisil soon discovers that although she has lost her power to heal, she now possesses a terrifying new abi-lity—to destroy.

This sequel to Path of Fate is a bigger, more complex book that makes effective use of multiple points of view. While there are familiar fantasy tropes here— a medieval setting, magicians able to speak to animals, a reluctant heroine who comes to accept her gifts—Francis adds some complexities and surprises.

World-building is strong and characters are multifaceted—fans will be particularly pleased by Reisil's slow-building relationship with the commoner Yohuac. The book is needlessly difficult to read, however, because of the many burdensome names assigned to people and places. (Dec., 400 pp., $7.50)
Reviewed by: 
Jen Talley Exum