Pratt's second book featuring bad girl sorcerer Marla Mason is just as awesome as the first volume, if not better. Marla's a fascinating protagonist with conflicting motivations, a truly awe-inspiring proclivity for violence and (finally!) sensible clothing. The secondary characters are also remarkable, especially Genevieve,
a woman recovering from sexual assault. Her reaction to her assault and her recovery are superbly written, and readers will root for her even as she wreaks havoc.
Marla, back home in Felport after her adventures in San Francisco,
has a new problem: An inmate from
the Blackwing Institute has escaped. Blackwing isn't any normal hospital; it's home to any number of criminally insane sorcerers. Genevieve, the escapee, is one of the more sedate inmates, having been asleep for most of the past 15 years after her violent rape.
Now Genevieve is awake, wandering the city and infecting everyone she touches with her nightmares. It falls to Marla, as chief sorcerer of Felport, to stop her. (Bantam Spectra, Apr., 320 pp., $6.99)