In Percheron the Zar dies and Boaz, the young son of Herezah, the old Zar's wife and Absolute Favourite, takes power. Ambitious and scheming, Herezah arranges for her son's rivals to be disposed of and oversees the assembly of a new harem. One of its number is Ana, who enters a world where she wants for nothing- except her freedom.
Ana's only friends are Lazar, the secretive and eligible Spur of Percheron, and a seemingly insane dwarf called Pez. Her attempt at escape, after undergoing a brutal Test of Virtue, sets in motion forces beyond anyone's control-
Even more mysterious is the rising of Iridor, heralding a new cycle in the war of faith that will enmesh them all in a deadly battle between gods.
Well, it would seem Aussie is home to some pretty darn fine authors- Fiona McIntosh now easily being added to my list as one of them. This book has many twists and turns, and keeps you guessing in some areas until the end of the final book of the trilogy - "Goddess", but it is done in such a way that it doesn't get annoying or frustrating, like in some books, but only serves to keep the intrigue firmly in place, and the reader rapidly turning pages until the very end. It's difficult not to like McIntosh's main characters, from the supposedly idiotic dwarf, Pez, to the sweet, strong willed Ana; the young Boaz, thrust at a tender age into the role of Zar, 2nd only to the Gods in Percheron, but who easily takes on the mantle and proves to be a much stronger character than one would expect of one so young- to even his cunning, conniving mother, Absolute Favourite in the royal Harem - Herezah. Then of course there is Lazar - proud, strong in mind and body, and hiding a secret that causes him to distance himself from anyone and everyone around him.
This is a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, fingers constantly itching to turn the next page, as it weaves you into the story of a battle between a Goddess and a Demon that has been fought over centuries, the warriors in the battle forever changing. This time though, the battle has changed, with new elements that leave everyone concerned confused, unsure of just who they can and can't trust. Maybe this time Lyana will win over the Demon, Maliz- if Royal Politics don't interfere first! Definitely a must read for anyone who enjoys fantasy, and another author to keep on the permanent watch-for list!
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