Tor, August 2004, 27.95, 496 pp
When the Alemanii left their homeland and crossed the sea, they came to a land inhabited by Shari'a, a race of witches. At first the groups lived in harmony. In the next generation, the Alemanii lords committed genocide on the Shari'a so that today they are thought of as myths and legends to some recalcitrant children.
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Brierly thought she was the last Shari'a; when she was caught practicing healing magic, she was sent to Duke Tejar's dungeon to await her death. She escaped and for a brief time she and her lover, Earl Melfallen enjoyed some time together before duty took him back to his estate. Brierly goes to Flinders Town because she heard that two witches reside there. The dragons who are the witches' guardians tell Brierly she is the catalyst that will start the Change but before she can find out what that means she is kidnapped by a villager who plans to turn her over to the Duke for a reward. The Earl is desperately trying to distinguish ally from foe for he fears that the Duke plans an invasion of Melfallen lands in order to destroy the man he regards as an enemy.
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner