Tor, May 2002, 25.95, 335 pp.
Though Harold G'deon the ruling earth witch knew he was dying, he failed to name his successor. With his death and no earth witch to replace him, the Sainnites successfully invade and conquer his land Shaftal. The deceased Harold's rival Mabin leads a counter fight, but the best the conquered people can do is hit and run guerrilla warfare.
When the Sainnites head north and devastate the Ashawala, only Zanja na'Tarwein of elemental fire survives. Battered, imprisoned, and with little hope, Zanja escapes. She joins other magic practitioners in the resistance. There is Emil the Paladin, a scholar who sees truth; and Karis the giantess metalsmith, who can heal as she has done to Zanja, but only if she avoids the addicting “smoke”. However, the enemy has its magic users too, making the quest of the conquered seem even more likely to fail especially if they fail to work as a team.
FIRE LOGIC is an exciting fantasy tale that has an epic backdrop, but focuses more on the personalities and what happens to the key cast members. The story line engages the audience who care about certain cast members. Jealousy and rivalry to gain favor regardless of gender between the anti-Sainnite heroes threatens their opportunity to throw off the yoke of their oppressors. In her first novel in several years, Laurie J. Marks provides a strong character-driven tale that quickly captivate her audience.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner