Tor, Feb 2002, 27.95, 672 pp.
The people who rule the Sturrinese Islands are a despotic lot, who shackle their women in chains and rip out the tongues of female sorceresses. They always seek to expand their empire and their present target is the land of Liedfuhr where Anna, the Soprano Sorceress brought peace to her corner of the land. Now that she is gone, her foster daughter Secca, also a powerful sorceress, is trying to keep the sea-priests from ruling her land.
Although she is not convinced that her powers are as strong as her adopted mother, she has, through magic, sunk an invasion fleet. Prior to that, she met and fell in love with Alcaren and he with her. He uses his magical powers to augment hers and to defeat their common enemy. Tired of the never ending battles, Secca decides to bring the war to the Sea pirates own lands but even if she is successful in that endeavor she still must rid her land of the ruler Sturrin and his many followers if peace is to return.
This fifth and last novel in the Spellsong Cycle is by far one of the best sword and sorcery novels of the new millennium. L.E. Modesitt, Jr. is a visionary who has created a brand new world that seems so real and lifelike readers will believe it actually exists. Although this is a stand-alone work, lovers of fantasy will want to read the previous four books in this fantastic series.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner