cover image Arrows of the Sun

Arrows of the Sun

Judith Tarr. Tor Books, $24.95 (510pp) ISBN 978-0-312-85263-4

Tarr's fourth installment in the Avaryan Rising series takes place nearly a century after the union of the empires of Keruvarion and Asanion. When Prince Estarion's father was poisoned in Asanion, Estarion destroyed the mage responsible, in the process losing his own magic and gaining a profound loathing for Asanians. Now, a decade later, as Estarion comes of age to take the Imperial throne, a deadly challenge to his power rises again in Asanion, amid the flaring of rebellion and renegade magic. Estarion is obliged to visit the heart of hostile territory to avert civil war; as he navigates the bewildering protocols of this contemptuous nation, he must learn to embrace Asanion and forge a lasting bond between his two very different lands. With elegant prose, Tarr beautifully conveys splendid regal settings, realistic politics, convincing cultural details--and cultural clashes. Even when they wield awesome magic energies or manage empires, her appealing characters remain captivatingly human. This is a sweeping saga, spiced with exciting, unexpected plot twists. (Sept.)