cover image Wit'ch Fire

Wit'ch Fire

James Clemens. Del Rey Books, $13.95 (439pp) ISBN 978-0-345-41705-3

Thirteen-year-old Elena is the daughter of kindly orchard keepers who have no idea their little girl is the reincarnated sorceress Sisa'kofa, ""wit'ch of spirit and stone,"" dead for more than five centuries and now the world's last hope for defeating the dreaded Dark One and his minions. This launch novel of a projected trilogy by first-time author Clemens is another entry into the crowded fantasy adventure field, and the book introduces all the usual suspects: an ancient prophecy; an adolescent with burgeoning magical powers; her loyal multispecies cohort; a power-mad evil sorcerer. Just as Elena's magical ability starts to manifest, the Dark One's servants arrive to capture her--for the Dark One plans to add her newborn powers to his own. Elena's escape begins a wild chase as she struggles to learn what she is and to come to terms with her growing power. She must eventually embrace her magic in order to save herself in the inevitable climactic battle--and to prepare for further confrontation with the Dark One, in Book Two. Readers who like their stories full of violence, magical pyrotechnics and black-hearted villains will find themselves on familiar ground here. Those in search of something original should look elsewhere. (June)