In the country of Dabion, the Justices who make the laws
and the Public Force militia rule the people. Certain
colored jewelry and ornamentation are banned and anyone who
has or uses magic is sentenced to death. Dabion has
conquered its neighbors except for Sor'raia where magic is
the norm and it's borders are closed.
Elizith Kor is the most successful spy in the Secret Force
due in part to her Sor'raian blood which allows her to
enter and read people's mind. After a very difficult
assignment Elizith wants to leave the espionage game but
she knows too many secrets to be free of her masters. She
rents a flat in Tod Redtanner's home and he becomes someone
she trusts and cares about. Their relationship puts both
of them in danger from an unknown enemy who wants nothing
more than to see Elizith die a slow and painful death.
Over the course of CONFIDENCE GAME, the protagonist slowly
reveals her history to Tod. This technique leads to
readers feeling sorry for someone who felt nothing until
she reaches a breaking point and suddenly feels
everything. Michelle M. Welch's debut novel is a fine
fantasy starring heroic characters endearing to the
audience because they are scarred and don't even realize
it. It is hoped that there will be a sequel to this book
that explores the magical world of Sor'raia of which the
author has given the audience only tantalizing glimpses.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted September 15, 2003
SHE DIDN'T BREAK THE RULES.
THEY BROKE HER.
Beneath its peaceful exterior, Dabion is a land of violence
and intrigue, its politics run by judges, schemers, and
spies. Elzith Kar is one such spy, gifted with an uncanny
skill derived from rigorous training—and an unusual magic
inherited from parents she never knew. Dabion may have use
for her talent, but its rulers fear the magic that tempts
it, so Elzith has hidden her history and true power,
becoming a master player in a game she despises.
But now, as she heals in the aftermath of a dangerous
mission, Elzith finds herself temporarily forced into life
as a civilian. It is here she finds Tod Redtanner, a humble
man with secrets of his own, and feels compelled to tell
him her story. But as Elzith's history unfolds and the
present begins to unravel, it soon becomes clear that the
past haunts more than just her dreams. And that if Elzith
is to survive, she has no choice but to return to the world
of intrigue and corruption that was once her domain. And
this time she must play to win.