THE SOUL MIRROR
This sequel to last year’s The Spirit Lens showcases Berg’s outstanding characterization skills but suffers from a tough mid-book slump. Readers who persevere, however, will be rewarded with a thrilling ending.
Anne de Vernase is staggering under the weight of her father’s treason, her brother’s imprisonment, her sister’s murder and her mother’s madness. When the king’s secretary Duplais comes to take Anne to serve as a handmaid to the queen, Anne realizes she is the only one left who can save her family. She hears her father’s voice — and his pleas for help. But since she’s completely unschooled in sorcery, Anne has no idea what to do or how to help him. (ROC, Jan., 480 pp., $16.00)