"A great fantasy for teens and adults"
Her Uncle Brinker rules Galazon as regent since he asserted
that his niece Faris Nallaneen is too young to reign. As
Faris gets closer to leading her duchy, Brinker sends her
to Greenlaw College. Her aptitude seems poor as she is not
much of a student especially of magic, but the dean claims
that Faris is one of the four guardians being the warden of
the north. Faris believes no one is less magical than she
is, as she displays no talent until she confronts and
defeats fellow student Prince Menary in a "war" of magic.
Brinker dispatches Faris to Aravill as an ambassador, but
his plan is to have his niece wed King Julian, Menary's
dad. Menary tries to kill Faris but fails, ending up in
the rift. Still with her uncle and her enemy Julian
plotting, Faris' future as the ruler of Galazon looks bleak.
This Harry Potter like tale, but initially published before
J.K. Rowling's Potter mania, stars an engaging heroine who
has more than just the weight of adult responsibility on
her shoulders as she must also protect the world and defeat
her Machiavellian uncle and a deadly rival. The story line
is loaded with action and a feel that early twentieth
century Europe is indeed a hot bed for magic. However,
the tale also contains several subplots that seem critical
to the basic theme, but vanish without resolution as if a
magician performed a stunt. Still, this is a fun fantasy
that adults and teens will relish while also seeking other
works from master mage Caroline Stevermer.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted October 30, 2002