Darksong Rising ($27.95; Jan. 13; 512 pp.; 0-312-86822-7). Third in the talented Modesitt’s Spellsong Cycle (The Spellsong War, 1998, etc.) completing the trilogy—or so we’re told. One-time Ames, Iowa, soprano Anna Marshall is now the Soprano Sorceress in Defalk, a land where music, literally, is magic. Besides battling the usual plethora of evil magicians and international conspirators, ruling Regent Anna must tackle the dreadfully male-chauvinistic aristocracy too. Top-notch stuff: grab all three books before trilogy deteriorates into interminable series.