LADYLORD by Sasha Miller


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Medieval Japan appears to be the inspiration for the backdrop to a second hardcover fantasy by Miller (On Wings of Magic, 1993, not reviewed). Lord Qai, ruler of Third Province, lies dying but has no son and heir; so he declares his daughter, Lady Javerri, an honorary son and confers upon her all his titles. Despite potential opposition from uncles and cousins, Javerri can rely on Qai's generals and also on the wise old mage, Wande-hari, and the Qai's scaly, nonhuman Dragon-warrior, Chakei, with both of whom she can communicate telepathically. But Lord Yassai of First Province must explicitly confirm her new titles before they can be recognized throughout the Five Provinces. So to Yassai's castle Javerri must go, after hastily marrying the expert archer, Ivo, to forestall any attempt by Yassai to marry her off to one of his kin. To avoid complications, meantime, Ivo must be denied access to Javerri's bed. But then, before confirming Javerri's titles, Yassai demands that she prove herself worthy--by fetching an all but unobtainable Dragon-warrior egg! Javerri and her allies, then, must organize a seemingly hopeless quest to the remote Burning Mountains, leaving Yassai and his magicians free to work whatever treacheries they please, in the certain knowledge that Javerri will never return. No prizes for guessing how it all comes out. A well-handled, solidly engrossing fantasy effort that, while unsurprising, also lacks major flaws. Noteworthy.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1996
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Tor