cover image Elvenblood


Andre Norton. Tor Books, $22.95 (348pp) ISBN 978-0-312-85548-2

The prolific Norton again collaborates with Lackey to create another thinly disguised romance/miscegenation parable serving as a fantasy/adventure novel. Sheyrene and her brother, Lorryn, are kept virtual prisoners to their father's wishes, since he is a high elven lord and has powerful elven magic that can be used to remold not only their bodies but also their minds, wills and souls. When circumstances allow them to escape, they are propelled into the paths of Shauna (who was featured in The Elvenbane, the first book of the series), a half-breed leader who has control over human and elven magic, and of her friends, wizards and shape-changing dragons who want equality for all. Inevitably, romance blossoms, war threatens and heroism ensues. Though the final battle here is rushed and depressingly anticlimactic, both authors have a sweet way with characters and there is enough magic, mystery and romantic bonding of fantastic species in genetically improbable ways to keep loyal fans entertained--and anyone with an ounce of cynicism far, far away. (June)