cover image Eastern Tide

Eastern Tide

Juliet E. McKenna, . . Orbit, $12.95 (599pp) ISBN 978-1-84149-377-0

The fourth Aldabreshin Compass novel (after 2005’s Western Shore ) raises the stakes for dragon-chasing Kheda, who has resorted to working with magewoman Velindre even though his fellow warlords will kill anyone who associates with magic-users. Kheda and his companions are drawn to two places threatened by the beasts: Shek, a domain where he owes the lord a debt of gratitude, and Daish, ruled by Kheda’s son. Kheda must ward off both dragons using tainted rubies, hide his relationship to the wizards and avoid being drawn into a web of political intrigues that could destroy him, his family and his future. New readers will have some trouble catching up, but once the book starts rolling, it’s an exciting read; McKenna creates fascinating tensions between magic and different societies. While this volume wraps up the Compass quartet, the ending leaves plenty of room for further books. (Oct.)