cover image The Sapphire Rose

The Sapphire Rose

David Eddings. Ballantine, $22 (467pp) ISBN 978-0-345-37474-5

This final volume of the Elenium trilogy, which began with The Diamond Throne , is also set in a magic world in turmoil. Here we follow the Pandion Knight Sparhawk as he uses the infinitely powerful sapphire-rose jewel Bhelliom to awaken Cimmura's queen Ehlana from the poison administered by the primate Annias, who seeks control over her kingdom and, in particular, her treasury. Annias is supported in his bid to become archprelate of the Church of the Elenes by the Elder God Azash, imprisoned by his fellow gods and seeking release through the powers of Bhelliom. After Sparhawk is coerced into marriage by Ehlana, he sets out with his companions, including the Styric seer Sephrenia, for the Holy City of Chyrellos, to rescue his people from destruction by Azash and his archpriest Otha. Having saved the city from its besieger, Martel, the small band of adventurers must proceed to Azash's lair to vanquish him and safeguard their world. Eddings adroitly mixes the exalted with the mundane in a tale that should satisfy his many fans. (Jan.)