cover image Ladylord


Sasha Miller. Tor Books, $24.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-312-86050-9

Aided by magic and loyal followers, a young woman fights for her patrimony in this Japanese-flavored fantasy. Raised by the magician Wande-hari to govern in a male-dominated culture, Lady Javere qa Hyasti is named ""son"" and sole heir by her dying father, Lord Qai qa Hyasti, ruler of the Third Province of Monserria. Before she can take her position, Javere, who comes to be known as Ladylord to her intimates, must be confirmed by the ancient and corrupt Lord Yassai qa Chula. But to protect herself from a forced marriage, she first weds her beloved; she must remain celibate until her confirmation, however, in order to fulfill an ancient prophecy. After avoiding several traps set by the wily Yassai, Ladylord and her followers are sent to the distant south to find a Dragon-warrior's egg; their quest is fraught with both natural perils and treachery. Meanwhile, Ladylord's loyal general, Sigon the Strategist, must battle an unholy alliance, which includes Ladylord's sister, that is trying to take over Third Province. Miller is the author of one previous novel, Falcon Magic, which appeared in the two-novel mass market book On Wings of Magic, volume three of the Witch World: The Turning series. In her skillful hardcover debut, she creates a socially complex world that's as vital as it is mannered, and fills it with captivating characters who are familiar with depravity as well as with grandeur. (Apr.)