A master of romantic suspense offers up her first full-length fantasy with this month's Luna release. When Tess awakens in the middle of a massacred caravan of traders, she has no idea who she is or how she survived the dreadful attack.

Traveling with the mysterious Archer and his warrior companions, she learns of a blight that has befallen the countryside—a plague to which she is somehow connected. She hears dark whispers and can feel evil spreading, but she has no idea if she is a part of the malevolent plot or its victim. As Tess and her companions grow closer to the shining city of Lorense, she draws nearer to remembering her past and discovering her destiny. It seems Tess holds the key to the land and its people's salvation—or their annihilation.

This is an introductory volume, dealing with one preliminary conflict in what looks to be a complicated battle of good and evil, and as such it seeks to establish a lot of plot and character detail. At times the story feels rushed and the characters not fully fleshed out, but the frantic pace will keep the reader turning the pages.

Lee is an evocative writer with the ability to effectively build suspense. Although the setting is a standard medieval fantasy world, it has a charmingly Middle Earth feel, and Lee carefully sets up a backstory of history and legend that will resonate through several books. Shadows of Myth leaves many questions unanswered and promises a series that will stand out in a genre crowded with sword-and-sorcery tales. (Jan., 400 pp., $13.95)
Reviewed by: 
Jen Talley Exum