FREEDOM'S APPRENTICE

Naomi Kritzer, Author . Bantam Spectra $6.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-553-58674-9

Blades swing and arrows fly in the action-packed second installment in Kritzer's Dead Rivers trilogy (after Freedom's Gate ), set in an exotic ancient world that resembles Alexander the Great's Persian empire, except for its genies, flying chariots, "spell stone" necklaces and other magical accoutrements. In the previous book, young military aide Lauria, who tracked escaped slaves and spied for Kyros (a commander of the conquering alliance of Greek military forces and sorceresses), secretly switched her allegiance to the feared Alashi rebels, but was cast out by the steppe tribes when her previous loyalties were revealed. Now she and her formerly enslaved blood-sister, Tamar, seek to free the slaves Lauria once returned to captivity and, hopefully, regain the Alashis' trust. The tale's special strength lies in its psychological twists; the stealth missions require the heroines to free captives' minds from enslavement before even attempting physical rescues, and the resulting uncertain fine lines between friend and foe give this story considerably more depth, complexity and suspense than most sword-and-sorcery plots. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/18/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 250 pages - 978-0-553-90186-3
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