Novel Books, Nov 2002, 271 pp.
Hillkirk is a quiet, relatively safe town that lies in the eastern part of the realm. Theresa Winered is a married woman stifling from the confines of her position. Hanoli, a barmaid, tries to keep her dignity in her squalid existence. Valla is the local midwife respected for her knowledge of herbal medicine.
An unstoppable plague is sweeping is on the from the southlands. At the same time a ravaging horde of Barbarians from the east is sweeping closer to them every day, destroy anything in its path. Theresa travels into the forest of Havernon and becomes one of the leaders in the war effort. Hanoli and the man she loves travels to the island of Isalt in hopes of finding THE FLOWER OF THE CRUEL BURNING, the only known cure for the plague. Valla stays in Hillkirk hoping to give comfort to her patients. These three remarkable females, already courageously helping people, play a heroic role in a war they thought there was no hope of winning.
Lovers of fantasy that like heroic battles and plenty of action inside a believable plot will want to read THE FLOWER OF CLEAR BURNING. The characters make this novel stand out from other works of similar style and caliber. The women accept burdens men normally assume with a determination to complete them or die trying. Joel Val Valin is a gifted storyteller who will appeal to fans of Patricia Briggs and Candace Sans.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner