Felix Harrowgate was a powerful wizard -- until his former master used him as the tool to break the Virtu, a magical construct that's the focus for the magics of the wizards of the city of Melusine. Driven mad, he and his half-brother, Mildmay, have ended up far from home, in the Gardens of Nephele, where Felix has regained a tenuous hold on his sanity.

They decide to travel through the southern duchies on their way back to Melusine, and while en route, they're able to rescue their former traveling companions, who prove to be incredibly important in the reconstruction of the Virtu, an artifact originally built with a number of arcane and heretical magical rites.

Monette has two distinct narrative voices for her two protagonists, and it's fascinating to see the same events from their different perspectives. Felix and Mildmay are opposites in many ways, but their fate is inextricably linked, and the secrets they uncover are ones that may be better left hidden. (Jul., 448 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs