cover image Seed Upon the Wind

Seed Upon the Wind

Carole Nelson Douglas. Tor Books, $19.95 (319pp) ISBN 978-0-312-85147-7

The second installment (after Cup of Clay ) of this well-crafted ecological fantasy series takes Minnesota reporter Alison Carver back to the troubled world of Veil, which she had abruptly left a few months earlier while in possession of its most precious talisman, the Cup of Earth. Bearing the Cup, Alison returns to find the lovely land under siege by the mysterious Crux-masters and facing a greater mysterious threat, for which she is blamed by Rowan Firemayne, the young heir to Desmeyne. As their at first uneasy truce grows to physical and emotional attraction, the two set off on Rowan's quest to create a more powerful talisman out of the ashes of his dead brother, Lorn, one of the Littlelost, never-to-grow children who had been enslaved to mine the fabulous metal etherion. With the addition of a wise woman, some rescued Littlelost and Alison's oddly knowing dog, Rambeau, the small band finds new evidence of the dangers posed by the Crux-masters, in whom Alison sees disturbing links to her own world. Douglas's increasingly intricate fantasy raises disturbing issues about environmental depredations. (Dec.)