The Daemon Prism

Carol Berg. Roc, $16 trade paper (496p) ISBN 978-0-451-46434-7

This rousing and complex good-against-evil battle, which concludes Berg’s voluminous quasi-Renaissance epic fantasy trilogy (after The Spirit Lens and The Soul Mirror), centers on Dante, a blind and irascible practitioner of soul-shaking magic now feared by almost all of his splendidly detailed world. In the aether, the medium of souls, he met courageous noblewoman Anne de Vernase, who saved him from madness and evil. Now they join familiar companions in a quest to defend the world against a new supernatural threat, which strikes before they can recover from the previous battle. Though Berg’s enormously complex plot demands acquaintance with the previous installments, her insight into the nature of human good and evil, the constantly ebbing and flowing relationships among lovers and friends, and the interplay of the mythic with the world of the senses consistently raises this novel above sword-and-sorcery routine. Agent: The Knight Agency. (Jan.)