cover image The Memory of Fire

The Memory of Fire

Callie Bates. Del Rey, $27 (448p) ISBN 978-0-399-17741-5

Gripping in its own right, this second volume of the trilogy that began with The Waking Land races along with a new main character, Jahan Korakides, lover of previous protagonist Elanna Valtai. In the first volume, Elanna was slowly forced to become aware of her magical power over the land. In contrast, Jahan is familiar with his abilities but has been taught to distrust them by the sorceress Madiya, who has manipulated him and his brothers. Returning to the court of Emperor Alakaseus Saranon, Jahan must take decisive actions despite his constant, nagging sense of inadequacy. He needs to avoid brutal witchfinders, try to avert a war between Elanna’s country and his homeland, and survive magical attacks and deadly palace intrigue. His vivid first-person, present-tense narrative shows him strained to the limits of superhuman endurance but also discovering unexpected magical resources in the world around him and moral resources in himself, learning that he would rather use his developing powers to heal than kill. This is a remarkably mature, balanced addition to the story that avoids the most common flaws of middle books and will leave readers hungry for the conclusion. Agent: Hannah Bowman, Liza Dawson Assoc. (June)