Micklem’s follow-up to Firethorn (2004), the second volume in a projected trilogy, continues the adventures of a magically gifted young woman bound to handsome warrior Sire Galan.
Disobeying his express command, redheaded, independent-minded Firethorn takes ship with the army in order to follow Galan. During the voyage she’s struck by lightning; she survives this touch of the god Wildfire, though with shredded memories and garbled speech. Her companions regard her mangled utterances as oracular, and they are…but not always. Reunited with Galan (he's not too upset that she showed up), Firethorn shortly finds herself in the middle of a battle she doesn’t understand, separated from her lover’s side. She’s captured by soon-to-be-king Corvus, but then he’s forced to fight a civil war against Queenmother Caelum, and although Corvus manages to hold off Caelum’s hated Wolf warriors, he’s forced to flee across the mountains. Thanks to her true dreams, Firethorn guides the king safely into Lambanein—the place names sound Greek but the social structure resembles medieval Japan’s—and tumbles into a whole new set of adventures and experiences.
Packed with more details about the gods, their attributes and influences than most readers would probably prefer, but this tough, capable, intriguingly flawed heroine and her huge, dense, absorbing saga show no signs of running out of steam.