Secrets are revealed, oaths sworn, alliances forged and hearts broken in the third volume of this epic fantasy tetralogy.
The former gang leader Han Alister, recalled by the clans after a scant year of wizard training, is less interested in their political agenda than in his kidnapped friend Rebecca, resorting to a desperate magical gamble to save her life. But Rebecca is not only tough, smart and fierce; she is actually secretly Princess Raisa, heir to the queendom near political collapse and forbidden to Han by birth, duty and law. While the Seven Realms make war among themselves, every faction and class in the Fells is set against the others, and only Raisa has a chance at uniting them—at the cost of abandoning all her personal hopes and dreams. Despite the lack of overt action, the eddy and flow of complex political and personal intrigues is riveting, and Chima navigates with graceful ease through multiple viewpoints and intricately realized settings united only by a subtle current of magic. Every character is both likable and flawed, written with such clear-eyed compassion that it impossible not to sympathize with all their competing goals.
Indispensible for those already committed to the series; those who aren’t should go back to the beginning and start. (Fantasy. 12 & up)