cover image The Phoenix Endangered: Book Two of the Enduring Flame

The Phoenix Endangered: Book Two of the Enduring Flame

Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory, . . Tor, $27.95 (416pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-1594-6

Harrier Gillain, future Knight-Mage, and his best friend, Tiercel Rolfort, High Mage in training, tread familiar ground in this sequel to 2007's The Phoenix Unchained , following the command of the Light in a quest to destroy the Dark. Accompanied by Kateta, a pushy, nagging unicorn, and the mammoth black dragon Ancaladar, the teen heroes prepare themselves in the elven city of Karahelanderialigor before setting out in search of the Lake of Fire, where the Wildmage Bisochim Bluerobe is raising a fanatic horde of desert nomads. Harrier and Tiercel's lengthy trek comes most vividly to life through the subplot of young nomad leader Shaiara, who risks her whole tribe on the chance of finding Abi'Abadshar, a legendary oasis of alien technology. Adding thinly veiled racial subtext to the customary coming-of-age world-saving story, this epic will mostly appeal to those who like their fantasy by the numbers. (Sept.)