Tor, March 2003, 25.95, 400 pp.
When the Sainnites left their homeland and marched into Shaftal, they came as conquerors, believing that the barren, mostly cold kingdom would be easily taken since it had no standing army. Battles were fought, lives were lost and after thirty five years the Sainnites believed they were in control of the land. The Palladin force consists mostly of Shaftal farmers that are not strong enough to destroy their enemy especially since at heart they are a peace loving people.
Although the Sainnites believe they have destroyed the mages and it no longer exists, it has just been hidden waiting for the right time to surface. Karis the new G'deon is an earth witch who has the power to heal the land but she chooses to stay in the background, helping her people in small ways until the right moment comes to make a stand. Even then the Sainnites must be willing to live in peace with the Shaftal and that will take a miracle since they see no need to lay down their arms to a conquered people.
Aside from the talking ravens that let Karis and her group spy on the Sainnites, the magic in EARTH LOGIC is muted because it would just get in the way of trying to find a way to peace. Karis is a good leader, a smart technician who is approachable to those close to her but keeps others at a distance so readers don't really feel like they know her. Laurie J. Mark's fantasy novel is exciting because of the clash between two different cultures and this differentiation makes this book a fascinating look at a world in flux.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner