Tor, May 2003, 27.95, 608 pp.
For nine centuries since the devastation of the Qirsi Wars, the Forelands have lived in peace. However, the murder of Lady Brienne of Kentigern allegedly by her lover Lord Tavis of Curgh has stirred up emotion especially when the prime suspect escapes his incarceration. While Tavis flees for his life, the Qirsi assassins who killed Brienne cause more havoc in the Forelands as their rumored leader the Weaver seeks domination through belligerence.
Meanwhile some Qirsi mages remain loyal to the current ministers they have served as advisors for years. Although their non-sorcerer leaders now fear and distrust them, this group attempts to stop the "Conspiracy" of their peers that if successful would turn the subservient class both sides belong to into the rulers of the Forelands. While civil war brews amidst the mages, Tavis plans revenge as his way of redemption, but fighting powerful enemy magicians seem doomed from the start.
The second book in “The Winds of the Forelands Tetralogy” is a straightforward fantasy that never loses its direction even while numerous subplots abound. The story line is as action packed as a sword and sorcery tale becomes without ignoring the cast. Tavis is a wonderful character struggling to control his ire boiled further by frustration to find any solid way to enact on his obsession to avenge and consequently redeem himself. Both sides of the Qirsi mages make sorcery seem so real so that fantasy fans will want to join this journey, but for greater delectation readers should try book one first though David B. Coe's insure that the SEEDS OF BETRAYAL can stand on its own.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner