Daw, July 2003, 23.95, 480 pp.
At the latest Allfair, the kingdoms of Eyra and Istria put their differences aside to trade manufactured goods made by merchants from both nations. Virelai, who fled Sanctuary and his master in the arctic regions of the north, takes only the Rosa Eldi and the cat, both being more than they seem. While at the Allfair, Ravyn Asharson, king of the Northern Isles, the Rosa Eldi for his wife and they both travel to his estate in Eyra.
Also at the Allfair is Tycho Issian, the Lord of Cantara, who takes one look at the Rose of the ward and wants her. Before he can claim her, she disappears and the Lord forces the sorcerer Virelai and his cat into bondage to him. Once it is discovered that the Rosa Eldi is in Eyra, he whips the Istrian lords into a frenzy, blaming them for the magic that has been set loose in the world. As both sides prepare for war, the Rosa Eldi begins to remember who and what she is and when she realizes what was done to her the entire world of Elda will never be the same.
There are various sub-plots in this epic fantasy that seamlessly tie into the main story line but what direction it will finally take will be found in the next tale of “Fool's Gold.” There are varying characters that all play pivotal roles in the plot and the reader understands the motivations and passions driving each one. It will be hard to wait for the next installment in this well written and exciting fantasy series that is so reminiscent of the Sword of Shannara trilogy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner