Roc, Feb 2004, 6.99, 480 pp.
For centuries, it was thought that the soldiers killed all the sorcerers and stamped magic out of existence. The ruthless noble Evard is an heir to the Leiran throne and brutally disposes of any threats to his goal of becoming king. His closest ally Tomas, Duke of Corrigon and the King's Champion, has a sister Seri who he plans to marry.
Through trickery, Seri forces the monarch to let her choose her husband and the only man who moves her is Karon, the last sorcerer in Leire. Eventually their secret is discovered and Karon is tortured before he is put to death. Seri is imprisoned until she gives birth. Her brother kills the infant and the king strips her of her heritage.
She lives like a peasant for over a decade but another sorcerer crosses her path. D'Nathiel is a prince from a world that is a mirror image of the four kingdoms but he suffers from amnesia and is unable to speak. Seri comes to his rescue and finds a love that she thought lost forever.
Imagination harnessed to talent produces a fantasy masterpiece, a work so original and believable that it will be very hard to wait for the next book in this series to be published. At times, Seri will remind readers of an Amazon warrior, a woman not afraid to do battle if the cause is just. There are many mysteries surrounding the prince of Avanar and Seri just begins to figure them out when he is taken away from her. The next installment hopefully should reunite the two star-crossed champions, as answers to some questions will provide fuller appreciation of these key characters.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner