Ace, Jan 2004, 4.95, 400 pp.
It should have been a peaceful place, the isolated island in the Boreal Sea but the four kingdoms that inhabit it have periodically gone to war. In the kingdom of Cathra, the heir to the throne Prince Conrig wants to be the high king when his father dies and all the other lands would become his vassal states. He lost his chance to enforce the Edict of Sovereignty when his father refuses to commit an army to invade Didion and instead orders a naval embargo which the seafaring nation easily avoids.
Now Conrig has made an alliance with the powerful Sorceress of Moss, who will help him in return for becoming the queen of her kingdom as his first vassal state. Her brother Prince Beynor is the heir and has made an alliance with Didion, giving to them what his sister has given to Conrig, the full use of the powerful magic they would need.
Julian May, author of THE MANY COLORED LAND, is one of the best world builders in fantasy today. His latest sword and sorcery saga is of epic propositions and is told from the point of view of Snudge, Conrig's snoop, assassin and the one called upon when something nasty needs doing. CONQUEROR'S MOON is the first installment in The Boreal Moon tales and readers will be hooked, anxiously wanting to read the next volume to find out how some of the dangling threads are sewn up.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner