Ace, Sept 2001, 14.95, 368 pp.
The world is composed of seven circles with the last one known as Earth and the fourth one called Nayve, a bucolic poster world. Harmoniously co-existing with no knowledge of war in Nayve are druids, fairies, elves and other creatures. Three centuries ago, it was foretold that Nayve was going to come under attack so the druid Miradel called a dying warrior Natac from Earth so he can assemble an army and then fight a war. Although they were victorious, Miradel was killed and was sent back to the seventh circle where she had to live seven lives before she was allowed to come back to Nayve and Natac.
In this time and place, the realm of the lord of the Death threatens the circles. Karlath-Fayd, whose minions are the souls of people who died by violence, wants to extend his dominion. To that end he has under control, although they don't know it, the evil arcane dwarf Zystyl and the leader of the harpies in the sixth circle known as Overworld. Miradel and Natac team up once again with their allies, both old and new to stop the latest threat to their world.
In this second installment of the Seven Circles Trilogy, readers will become reacquainted with friends (and enemies) they met in CIRCLE AT CENTER. Douglas Niles so eloquently describes each circle readers will have a vivid visual image of each land. Fans of Tolkien and Brooks will love this epic fantasy and eagerly await the next book in this series (which can't come too soon for this reviewer).
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner