Returning to the fantastical world of
the Nine Kingdoms, Kurland launches
a stunning, rich and poetic new trilogy. The first leg of this surprising saga introduces the characters and the opening moves in a chess game where magic and intrigue are used in abundance. The quest is on!

After the last battle with the black mage Lothar, the Kingdom of Neroche has been protected by spells of the archmage and two magical swords. Trouble arises when the current king, Adhemar, loses his connection to magic and to one of the legendary swords. Miach, the king's brother and current archmage, fears that this power loss is the opening salvo in a new war. Their only hope may lie in finding someone that can wield the Sword of Angesand.

Morgan believes not in magic but in skill. An orphan, she was the first girl to be taught by Lord Nicholas. Now a mercenary, Morgan reluctantly complies when Nicholas asks that she take a special dagger to the king. On her journey, she's joined by friends and strangers who are not at all what they appear to be. (BERKLEY SENSATION, Dec., 336 pp., $14.00)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith