Thursday, January 31, 2008

Review Preview: A Magic of Twilight

You'll see the full review on SFRevu tomorrow, but for now...
In Nessantico, the capital and heart of a mighty empire, it is nearly the Golden Jubilee of the Kraljica (a title that equates roughly to empress). She is Marguerite ca'Ludovici, and the twilight years of her long reign are grievously troubled. Her empire is fraying at the seams and dire threats stir at the borders--and within her own city.

Into the cauldron that is Nessantico steps Ana cu'Seranta, a young woman trained to become an acolyte of the Concenzia Faith. Blessed with strong and unconventional magical abilities, Ana becomes a focus of much attention, good and bad, as she navigates the treacherous waters of Nessantico's politics.

Aided by the ancient Archigos (pope) Dhosti, Ana pieces together the power struggles behind the scenes, only to find herself swept to the heights of the Concenzia Faith through an unexpected chain of events.

Along the way, she comes to question some help she is given, fearing that she is being manipulated into being a catspaw for some unknown player. Discovering the truth behind the web of lies--and the secrets of her own uncanny talents--may be the only way Ana and Nessantico can survive.

S.L. Farrell has crafted a wondrous tale of intrigue, adventure, the collision of politics and religion, and the triumph of personal virtue over fear and doubt. The setting of Nessantico is sophisticated, challenging readers to delve deeper into its many layers, while the characters are refreshingly three-dimensional, fully realized, and rarely white or black in their moral choices.

This is no light read. The social system, naming conventions and different titles alone take up a fair amount of head-space for the reader. However, the craft of world-building has rarely been put on display so ingeniously.

Fans of epic fantasy can expect a genuine treat in this book, hopefully the first of many to come.

Strongly recommended.
Like it? That's only about half the review-- so visit the site tomorrow and read the rest. Later!

No comments: