One of the premier voices in fantasy begins a highly original new series that promises to enthrall us as much or more than the popular Magic of Recluce collection of books.

In the ordinary world of Earth, Anna is a hard-working mother struggling to support her children after a nasty divorce from an egocentric tenor. Singing for the Founder's Dinner for major university donors doesn't amount to a big salary. But when she walks out the door of her condo, the world swirls about her and...

She's not in Kansas anymore, so to speak. Drawn to the world of Erde by a powerful spell, she is at first bewildered by the assumption of the natives that she is a sorceress. Taken in by the local sorcerer, Lord Brill, she is shocked to discover that she indeed has power, a power so great that she holds the key to Erde's stability and its people's fate.

But Anna must ford the treacherous waters of local politics and learn to adapt to a world in which women would seem to be of little account. Will she find a way to cope with the mounting challenge to her very survival?

Mr. Modesitt is a fabulous world-builder who once again creates a milieu so compelling that it seems like we actually go there with the plucky heroine, who more than proves that you can't keep a good woman down. (Feb., 512 pp., $25.95)

Reviewed by: 
Melinda Helfer