Tor, August 2001, 25.95 480 pp.
In the land of the Ennead, the triad consists of a binder, an illuminator, and a wordsmith. They are the basis of Society's good health. When the weather needs a little change, or when somebody is sick, or a birth is hard the triad eases the suffering and makes the person well again. When death is near the triad takes away the suffering so the soul can leave the body peacefully. Liath has trained all her life to be an illuminator but after she earns her badge, the light fails her.
She travels to the home of the Ennead, the most powerful mages in the land, in the hopes that they can bring out her light. They fail but tell her that a renegade mage working in a triad can help her if he is brought back into the fold. She seeks Torrin but when she finds him he is nothing like the evil man the Ennead has described. He tells her things about her world that frightens her, but something about him attracts her even though she should feel nothing but revulsion for him. The time will come when Liath must separate the truth from the lies but when that happens will she have the courage of her convictions and act accordingly.
ILLUMINATION is a rich and complex stand alone epic fantasy that mesmerizes the reader. The society that Terry McGarry describes feels so real that audiences will believe she has visited that world. The characters are so complex and colorful that nobody could doubt that these people once lived, loved and laughed. Thanks to the author's skill, we have a variation of the Atlantis legend subtly adapted for this fabulous fable.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner