Tor, Dec 2003, 27.95, 496 pp.
The Waterlords are the most powerful caste in Sileria because they magically control the scarce commodity water. With the Valdani conquerors defeated (see book one), the Waterlords betray the trust of the rebel leader Firebringer, have him assassinated, and begin charging exorbitant prices for their valuable sustenance desperately needed by a parched populace. Tansen the great warrior and Mirabar the fire wizard lead opponents against the water oligarchy that controls how much of the supply side will respond to the demand.
However Mirabar sees that ridding the land of the magic elements of water cannot occur if Sileria and its people are to thrive. Somehow, the magic must remain; Mirabar concludes they must defeat the waterlords to break up their tyranny, but cannot commit total genocide. That is the easy part of what they must do. The difficult part is to persuade her partner Tansen, who detests with good reason the Waterlords, that they cannot eradicate the enemy of the people.
Though the tale contains the high level of action expected from a fantasy, THE DESTROYER GODDESS: IN FIRE FORGED also includes strong fabulous characters that interrelate in an intelligent, at times emotional, manner but appear reasonable. The hero tries to control his frustration; the fire wizard in spite of knowing what needs to be done must rein in Tansen; and the Waterlords seems realistic in some ways like the oil industry. Fans will appreciate this powerful Silerian journey from a rising superstar who is much more than a chip off the old block as Laura Resnick may prove to be Barry to Bobby (both great) if she keeps hitting home runs.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner