This is a quiet, beguiling and transcendent tale of love, mystery and magic. The first half of a duology, the main characters are, as usual, complex and beautifully written, and their tale is a perfect introduction for newcomers to Bujold's work. With hints of darkness in the second volume, the first half of Fawn and Dag's story is a fantastic foundation.

Unmarried and pregnant, Fawn Bluefield heads to work in the city. When she encounters dark magic, she realizes that there are more troubles in the world than just hers. Saved by Dag, a soldier-sorcerer, she embarks on the journey of a lifetime.

As Fawn accompanies Dag on his travels, she rediscovers her own inner strength. Dag and his people are all that stand between them and the end of the world. (Eos, Oct., 368 pp., $25.95)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs