Tor, Sep 2003, 27.95, 496 pp.
Prince Garric and his retinue, which besides trusted humans includes the ghost of the great King Carus inside his head, crossed the island of Haft to reach the ancient capital of the Old Kingdom Carcosa. Garric plans to unite the people living on the numerous islands that make up the Isles. Garric's fiancée Liane works closely with him as they try to bring the competing, often hostile, religious groups under his rule.
Meanwhile, unknown powers trying to abort Garric's efforts attack his loyal supporters. Upon being inexplicably transported to a strange deadly land, Garric's best friend Cashel and royal sister Sharina struggle to survive. Cashel's sister, the witch Ilna and her beloved Chalcus must find a way to overcome a bizarre winged plague threatening trading ships. Isolated from his most steadfast supporters, Prince Garric's efforts to establish a government with him as the monarch seem doomed to failure as the enemy to human civilization maliciously wrecks havoc throughout the Isles.
The fifth tale in the Lord of the Isles series is an exciting epic fantasy filled with several major subplots starring either the Prince or some of his key followers. The story line is very exciting and imaginative, but at times seems over written and endless. The cast remains solid, especially the good guys, who stay in character from their previous appearances, but by book five with all those nasty elements tossed at them one must wonder about growth. Though not as good as David Drake's military science fiction, fans of the series will appreciate GODDESS OF THE ICE REALM, just set aside plenty of extra time.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner