Some more from Harriet.
Tor, Aug 18 2009, $27.99
The land of the Hundred is on the verge of collapse as war has swept across everywhere. The cause is a stunner as someone from within The Guardians of the Altars has betrayed the trust; causing massive chaos slaughtering of thousands of people in a mindless march of destruction.
The only viable adversary to the horde of the Guardians of the Altars is the Outlander army who want peace and prosperity to return. They know their enemy is beyond reason and prepare for war against an invincible foe, who even devastated the Eagle Reeves used to enforce the law of the land.
The third Crossroads epic fantasy (see SPIRIT GATE and SHADOW GATE) is a super entry that will have readers considering what a value is on individual and collective levels and can a person ignore natured values that are nurtured by society; that psychological well-being is the essence of TRAITOR’S GATE. The story line is action-packed and fast-paced from the onset, as the Outlander soldiers as individuals think they can perform actions that feel contrary to their psychological essence, but as a group may find the tasks required overwhelming because these brave soldiers must also overcome the intrinsic values of the group. Complex and complicated, the world of Kate Elliot is filled with mental personal gates that amass in the realm of the Hundreds on an epic scale of doubt and devastation. This is a deep thought provoking entry within a strong saga. Harriet Klausner
Zebra, Aug 2009, $6.99
Half-breed shaman Eugenie Markham was contented making a living sending home creatures who crossed over from the Otherworld. She never planned to cross over herself heeding her mentor stepfather’s warning, but did so to rescue a child. To accomplish her quest, Eugenie killed the Thorn King (see STORM BORN) only to learn she is now the THORN QUEEN; a job she does not want as that will mean more time on Otherworld where every person with a Y Chromosome wants her.
She has issues with the two males in her life though she is seeing Kiyo the spirit fox even as he is expecting to be a father soon with his former girlfriend while fae King Dorian has her libido soaring to heights she never imagined. Besides wanting two hunks Eugenie fears pregnancy as her firstborn is prophesized as the individual who will make the human race extinct. The newest monarch is most concerned with several young female fae vanishing; adding to her dismay is that no one even King Dorian seem the least bit troubled. She decides to investigate as Eugenie feels this is part of being a ruler. Her inquiry leads to life threatening danger from an adversary with a personal blood grudge and an affirmation that her preference is the mental comfort of the human realm she knows intimately.
The second Dark Swan fantasy is a terrific tale as the audience sees the Otherworld through the eyes of newcomer Eugenie. The story line is fast-paced from the onset while the Thorn Queen struggles with her new responsibilities, her love life and an unknown foe using fae to force the heroine to act. Like the first book, this is a winner due to the realism brought to Otherworld by the half human-half fey heroine who is naive in this new world of hers as her earthly sophistication appears worthless in this realm. Harriet Klausner
Del Rey, Jun 23 2009, $7.99
In 1779 the American War of Independence continues unabated. Having helped General Washington by using his magical skills, Proctor Brown decides it is enough as all he sees is blood flowing on both sides of the dispute. He, his wife Deborah the witch and a few friends relocate to a New England farm although the General pleads with him to help them in Europe. Even if he wanted to get back involved, he will not leave his nine month pregnant spouse.
Deborah goes into labor, but as she gives birth to a daughter, the powerful Balfri the demon enters through an unguarded chimney. Proctor with the help of Abigail, Lydia and Magdalena force the demon outside, but the elderly Magdalena died doing it. Proctor knows now he has no choice but to take the fight to those who summoned Balfri, the European witches of the Covenant. Proctor heads by sea to Europe with black freewoman Lydia pretending to be his slave. On the ocean, he meets John Adams and in France, he meets Benjamin Franklin, but the Covenant uses minor mages and witches to destroy him while in the States Balfri attacks Deborah and her daughter Maggie as there is power in possessing an infant
This is a terrific alternate historical fantasy that continues the saga of Proctor Brown who is considered a “Traitor to the Crown” for helping the American rebels along with his loved ones, during the American Revolution in which magic plays a key role in the outcome. The story line is action packed from the moment that Balfri attacks the house and never slows down crossing the Atlantic or in France and England. Fans of alternate histories will want to read the entire series (see THE PATRIOT WITCH and A SPELL FOR THE REVOLUTION) as well as this thriller as the magic seems genuine and real persona like Adams and Franklin play major roles, but the audience will wonder whether Cornwallis or Washington will surrender at Yorktown as the magic is flying on both sides of the big pond. Harriet Klausner