"Overall a fascinating book"
Enraged, Rhan, a Da'liesh wizard kills his brother, Etan
after discovering him raping a young woman. As punishment,
he is sentenced to work in a mine with one hand tied behind
his back to avoid him being able to use his magic. By the
time he's released, his world has changed. A group of
aliens called the Daha'et have come to Rhan's world and
sickened the Wakhanee, the true gods who keep all of nature
in balance. They have come to regain their strength since
being cast from their own world with plans of returning to
their home when they are strong enough to conquer.
In the meantime, they raise havoc with the weather on
Rhan's world and steal the lives of others, particularly
the lives of small children to strengthen themselves. Major
Rhan joins up with others to fulfill the quest to rescue
the Wakhanee and defeat the Daha'et. There is Taoe a simple
warrior who had also suffered imprisonment for helping with
Etan's death, more a brother to Rhan than the evil Etan.
Ahlisha who is part shapeshifter is the girl that Etan had
raped. Her dreams of becoming a bard were destroyed when
she lost her virginity. She is secretly in love with Rhan.
Oh, all right, not so secretly in love with him, but he
feels she's still a child. She isn't still a child, at
least not to Taoe, or the blind healer, Finnuala, a woman
who discovers that she has unexpected interest in the young
And there is Vero, the Masterhand, who comes from the same
world as the Daha'et. He couldn't kill his own brother, Orn
and so the man and his followers were banished with the
hope they would die. Instead they'd come to Rhan's world
and so Vero has followed. He joins with Rhan as soon as
he's released from the mine, hoping that between Rhan who
is the Thoughtmaster and Ahlisha, the Conduit, the evil
Vero has released into the universe can be stopped.
Basically, this is a quest book, where the main characters
find themselves on a journey, meeting various people,
gathering various objects and learning certain information
to solve a problem. The romance in the book is slight
because Rhan and Ahlisha are generally too busy staying
alive to even think about a relationship. This is far more
like a traditional fantasy novel than a romance novel.
The world is well drawn, the characters fully developed and
the story complex. We have dragons, both good and bad, a
dog and small critters that sing, have hands and faces, and
yet live in cages like birds. The people's homes have
indoor lawns instead of carpeting and they bury their dead
at sea, even when they live inland.
Overall, this is a fascinating book.
Reviewed by Janet Miller
Posted December 2, 2002