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MAGE OF CLOUDS: The Cloudmages #2

S. L. Farrell, Author
S. L. Farrell, Author . DAW $23.95 (528p) ISBN 978-0-7564-0169-6
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In Farrell's second richly imagined Cloudmages fantasy (after 2003's Holder of Lightning ), the younger generation takes center stage. It's been almost 20 years since the mage-lights returned to the sky and Meriel MacEagan's mam, Jenna, found Lámh Shábhála, the mage-stone that reawakened the other clochs. With it, Jenna has become the Banrion of Inish Thuaidh and has managed to form an uneasy truce with the other Tuathaan. But the old Rí Ard is dying, and his successors—Jenna's half brother Doyle Mac Ard and the Rí Ard's daughter Edana—are more than willing to reopen the war with the Inishlanders. And while Lámh Shábhála and its holder may be too powerful to attack directly, her family is not. The author deftly manages Meriel's journey from the sheltered and innocent Banrion's daughter of the book's opening chapters to the grounded and powerful woman she will become—and from hostage to healer. Intriguing, fully developed characters abound. This entry can only enhance Farrell's reputation as one of the rising stars of Celtic fantasy. (Jan. 1)

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