HEIR OF STONE: The Cloudmages #3
The grandchildren of Jenna Aoire, who first learned to wield the power of the star stones in 2002's Holder of Lightning , face multiple challenges in the pseudonymous Farrell's dense, literate third volume in his Cloudmages saga (after 2004's Mage of Clouds ), set in the Tuatha, a land much like medieval Ireland. Sevei is learning to become a cloudmage while her twin brother, Kayne, is off on a military campaign against the invading Arruk, who have captured their youngest brother, Ennis. Meanwhile, Doyle Mac Ard, Jenna's half-brother, renews his campaign of treachery against his kin. The author does such a good job of depicting Doyle, who illustrates the psychological costs of the classic Celtic feud mentality, that he almost takes over the novel. But there are plenty of other memorable characters, and readers will be grateful for the extensive appendixes, which include a cast list, a glossary and a brief history. While the pace can be leisurely at times, Farrell continues to shine as one of the strongest voices in the Celtic fantasy subgenre. Agent, Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House. (Jan. 4)
FYI: Farrell is the pseudonym of Stephen Leigh.