cover image The Soul of Power

The Soul of Power

Callie Bates. Del Rey, $28 (480p) ISBN 978-0-399-17744-6

Bates brilliantly concludes an impressive high fantasy trilogy (after The Waking Land and The Memory of Fire) with this tale of scheming and magic. The first book showed heroine Elanna liberating the potential for magic in Caeris and Eren, two antagonistic countries that share an island. The second concentrated on action and intrigue in the nearby empire of Paladis, where Elanna’s lover, Jahan, struggled to accept and master his own supernatural talents. This volume is narrated by their friend Sophy Dunbarron, the insecure young queen of an uneasily united Caeria and Eren. Powerful enemies are plotting against Sophy, especially when she—still unmarried—reveals that she is pregnant. Meanwhile, though ignorant prejudice against magic persists, people all over the realm are beginning to dream odd dreams and develop strange talents, including Sophy herself. New alliances are made and excruciating physical tests met, and Sophy must grow up fast. Bates handles the characters’ personal conflicts convincingly and skillfully works the strands of magic into their experience. This is a fresh, confident, powerful accomplishment. Agent: Hannah Bowman, Liza Dawson Assoc. (June)