Despite the whiff of science fiction in the title, the latest novel from fantasy author Duncan (The Eye of Strife) is a straightforward fantasy epic about a girl who rises from a humble background to control an empire. In another realm’s year 700, 16-year-old Irona Matrinko, daughter of a fisherman, is selected by the goddess Caprice to be one of the Seventy Chosen. They rule Benign and its outlying lands, and they protect it from the forces of evil god Maleficence. At first Irona—now called Irona 700—is certain her being chosen was a mistake, but her tutor convinces her to accept her fate, and she proves to be a natural at political scheming. Her seagoing background also gives her a strong understanding of naval strategy and tactics. Rising through the ranks of power, Irona 700 learns to manipulate others with the best of them. But her toughest challenge is controlling her sociopathic son. Political intrigue and military action form the core of this novel, brought down to human scale by ambition and jealousy. This book will please fantasy readers who love a good scheme. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 04/27/2015 Release date: 08/01/2015 Genre: Fiction
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