In this new series by the author of the Demon Child trilogy, Marla Wolfblade is the sister of the High Prince of Hythria and, at the beginning of the novel, a naïve and foolish girl. Narrowly escaping marriage to a barbarian foreigner, she instead marries Laran Krakander, a Hythrian warlord. She bears him a son, Damin, who is named her brother's heir.

Marla is convinced that her future is secure, until Laran is killed in a border raid and she becomes more fully aware of the currents of power swirling about her.

Initially an unsympathetic and immature brat of a protagonist, Marla matures greatly during the course of the novel, becoming an admirable woman devoted both to her family and her country. Fallon has done a wonderful job with her characterization. Fans of her prior series will enjoy this return to a prior setting; her book is set well after the events of the Demon Child trilogy, but the same factions and families are in play. (Jan., 512 pp., $25.95)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs