Ace, June 2003, 22.95, 304 pp.
Once upon a time in the kingdom of Serre, the heir to the throne Prince Ronan went to war in the hopes that he would be killed in battle. He lost his wife and child and saw no reason to go on living but fate had something else planned for him. When he returned home, his father informed him that he arranged for the prince to marry Princess Sidonie of Dacia, a kingdom known for its powerful sorceress.
The prince is ensorcelled by a firebird and follows it into the forest where he meets the princess and the Gyre sorcerer who accompanies her from her land. No introductions occur and the princess resumes her journey only to find that her bridegroom is not at the palace awaiting her. Gyre searches for him, but when he encounters the prince he changes him into a firebird and assumes the appearance of Ronan. Gyre intends to take over the prince's role because Roman doesn't want it and the sorcerer does.
Patricia A. McKillip weaves her usual magic to create a spellbinding tale of two star-crossed lovers who find that fate is not always unkind. The adventures they partake in change them in subtle ways, making them more aware of the needs of the other and wanting to give that person their heart's desire. Readers will remember the irascible witch in this tale who lives in a house of bones, has big feet and is more and less than she seems.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner