Seer of Sevenwaters
Roc, Dec 7 2010, $24.95
The fifth daughter of the Lord of Sevenwaters, teenager Sibeal of Sevenwaters has always dreamed of becoming a druid. Thus she is excited when she completes her training as all she has left to do to fulfill her goal is to take the vow. However, Sibeal's Uncle Ciaran directs her to drop her study in order to contemplate if she really wants to become a druid; as there is no change of mind once you commit. He sends her to the island of Inis Eala where her married sisters live for a summer of reflection in isolation.
Sibeal is angry with her mentor who she believes is punishing her although she cannot fathom why. A storm causes a shipwreck leaving several stranded voyagers. Sibeal is confused by the behavior of Knut the Norseman and his wife Svala who seems deathly afraid of her husband. The other survivor pulled safely from the water suffers from amnesia. To her shock Sibeal is attracted to this stranger with the memory loss, but also wonders what secrets have the married couple and perhaps the other survivor conceal from her and her family.
The latest Sevenwaters’ family fantasy (see Daughter of the Forest and Heir of Sevenwaters) is an engaging entry starring a delightful intelligent daughter who must make choices not easy to select from as her life passion has a new passion. The story line starts off slow with much of what has gone on before overly rehashed to the chagrin of fans and glee of newcomers, but once Sibeal steps to the plate, the game accelerates. This is an entertaining romantic fantasy as the audience will wonder whether the heroine will select Druidism or love while also pondering who the amnesiac is. Harriet Klausner
Star Wars Fate of the Jedi: Vortex
Del Rey, Dec 7 2010, $27.00
In a remote planet in the Maw Cluster, the Sith believe they have trapped the father and son Jedi Knights Luke and Ben Skywalker. However, before the final confrontation, both sides find a greater threat from a third party. The Abeloth forces the enemies into an unholy alliance between the Skywalker pair and the Sith to survive the menace; not knowing if they survive something even more beastly awaits them on the moon of Pydyr, home to the brutal Fallamassi.
Meanwhile on Coruscant, Han and Leia Solo are in the middle of the growing divisiveness between the Jedi Order and the brutal leader of the Galactic Alliance. Civil war seems increasingly inevitable as the Solo couple tries to negotiate a more peaceful solution.
The newest entry in the nine-book saga "Fate of the Jedi" is a pivotal tale as the overarching story line takes a fresh, exciting and unexpected twist as new developments lead to strange surviving bedfellows and convoluted complications. Fast-paced, both enjoyable subplots continue the woes of the Skywalker duo and the Solo clan with terrific revolutionary spins that will delight Star War fans.
Right Hand Magic
Nancy A. Collins
Roc, Dec 7 2010, $6.99
Her affluent parents are disappointed in Tate as they expect her to marry someone of their social group. Instead, Tate is a Manhattan based metallurgist, sculpting life-sized human figures. Tate feels she is on the way to making it as a metal sculptor when the Templeton Gallery in Chelsea plans a showing of her work.
Tate finds a place to rent in the Golgotham, the oddest area in the city; some would say the world. Here is the true melting pot where Werewolves, Valkyries, Amazons, centaurs, and their ilk live above ground and Dwarves below the pavement. Also residing here is Kymeran witches who sell charms, spells, and curses to customers, mostly dumb humans. Tate's landlord is Hexe the Kymeran sorcerer who’s a practitioner of the Right Hand magic. He shares in common with his new tenant the fact he has disappointed his mother the Golgotham Witch-Queen, Lady Syra by not following in her footsteps with using Left Hand curse magic. As Tate adjusts to Hexe’s strange feline Scratch, a were-cougar stalks her. Hexe catches teenager Lukas, who is cold turkey detoxed from the drugs that had him out of control. He explains he fled from mob Boss Marz's pit fighting ring; the trio knows the gangster and his minion will be coming for their guest.
Right Hand Magic is a fascinating opening act of a new urban fantasy that focuses in the New York neighborhood Golgotham which is filled with an assortment of non-humans. The story line introduces the audience to the neighborhood through the eyes of the newest resident. The action is somewhat limited as Nancy A. Collins establishes the lifestyle of an assortment of paranormal species and a horde of players. This first entry looks like the beginning of an engaging series as fans will want to walk the streets of Golgotham; albeit with some magic at their right and left hands. Harriet Klausner