Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Jr. Modesitt

Pub Date: Feb. 10th, 1997
ISBN: 0-312-86022-6
Publisher: Tor

 A new fantasy from the versatile author of Adiamante (p. 1108), the Recluce series, etc. Here, blond, middle-aged soprano Anna Marshall finds herself whirled away from everyday Ames, Iowa, to another world in which the country of Defalk is threatened with invasion by evil Dark Monks from neighboring Ebra. In this world, however, music is magic, and, instructed by the sorcerer Brill and his sponsor, Lord Barjim, Anna discovers that she has enormous powers--if she can learn to harness them. Clearly, the Dark Monks, who want to enslave Defalk and have magically engineered a long, ruinous drought, are wicked and must be stopped; and Anna, adapting the songs familiar to her, joins Brill and Barjim in a tremendous battle that destroys the invaders, though both Brill and Barjim are slain. Women, however, even sorceresses, are little respected in Defalk, so Anna agrees to support Lord Behlem, the self-styled Prophet of Music, even though knowing that he will soon attempt to assassinate her. The Ebrans, meanwhile, prepare another and greater assault, and Anna, struggling with sorcery, intrigue, and gender politics, determines to do what is right no matter what the cost. Resplendent feminist fantasy with an inventive and expertly handled scenario, life-sized characters, and flawless plotting. Sequels are supererogatory; the publishers threaten them nonetheless.