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Genre: Fantasy, General Fantasy
A reissue of a 2004 book written under the pseudonym Joanna King, this reads like an early work. A solid fantasy, with good worldbuilding and a plot that follows an interior logic, there are no surprises or additions to powers to fix inconsistencies. The characters have realistic motivations and remain true to them (a frequent difficulty for new authors). This is an intriguing look at an author’s development.
Years ago Magnus usurped the Numian throne, killing his brother Gallus and his family. Now emperor, he has conquered the surrounding lands, except for magical Ileria. If he adds the magic of Ileria, Magnus will be unstoppable. Branna, the priestess leader of already fallen Tir na Ban, comes to Numia to stop him. Almost captured on her first day, she is rescued by a dashing green-eyed swordsman, a leader of the opposition.
Lucan is the last surviving member of the royal family, and is just as determined as Branna to thwart Magnus. Only the pair, in synergy, can overcome the magic Magnus has. And magic has its own costs. There is no joy without sorrow, for the universe always remains in balance. How can these two people, who are coming to care for each other, stay true to all that is asked of them? (BERKLEY SENSATION, Feb., 320 pp., $15.00)
Reviewed By: Bunny Callahan
Publisher: BERKLEY SENSATION
Published: February 2011