The inevitable, if unnecessary, sequel to Modesitt's fine music-magic feminist fantasy, The Soprano Sorceress (1997), with its appropriately Wagnerian backdrop. Here, having destroyed the Ebran invaders, sorceress Anna rules Defalk as Regent on behalf of young Jimbob. But Anna is beset by problems. Internally, Defalk's lords, except for the faithful Lord Jecks, resent being ruled by a female and cooperate reluctantly, if at all. There's a shortage of seed grain, but Defalk's debt to the suppliers is already huge. And Anna is forced to constrain by sorcerous means the rebellious Lady Wendella; she must also recruit new musicians to replace those killed in the war, find new weapon smiths, and magically rebuild Defalk's tottering infrastructure--while every tiny use of magic drains her energies. Externally, the rulers of ancient and powerful Nordwei wonder whether Anna is a threat. Konsstin of Mansuur dreams of establishing an Empire of Music. Nubara of Neserea schemes to encircle Defalk with armies. Only the Matriarchs of Ranuak give Anna a by-no-means unanimous approval. If there has to be a series, then this is an agreeable and worthwhile addition--much fresher and more tempting than Modesitt's unending Magic of Recluce yarns.