Luna, Oct 2004, 12.95, 400 pp.
The free People of the Shield of the Sky are all women, a self-sustaining community which only uses males to get pregnant so their community will have fresh blood. The chosen that are selected mate with the Aliuri, shapeshifters that are children of the Deva spirits of the sky, water, and earth. Rhena was not called but went up to the mountain anyway where a shapeshifter permanently scarred her cheek. When Rhena came down from the mountain she was sent into exile until the powers of the Aliuri weakens and many of the Devas disappear, leaving the Free People without any protection.
Rhena is recalled and assigned to find out what happened to the Devas and the Aliuri. Along the way she meets the seer Tahvo and she rescues the Aliori Cian. They cross paths with Qustis; together they make Four, a fighting unit that travels to Karchedon, the heart of the evil Arrihidaean Empire where the worship of a stone is at its strongest. Each member of the quartet has a different reason to go to Karchedon but when they arrive they discover it is their destiny to destroy the evil entity that is in the stone which seeks to bring all mankind under its domination.
SHIELD OF THE SKY is a fantasy unlike other works this author has written as the shapeshifting romances that made Susan Krinard is only a small start of this work. Four individuals are on a quest to destroy the stone and bring down the empire.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner