cover image The Hands of Lyr

The Hands of Lyr

Andre Norton. William Morrow & Company, $22 (388pp) ISBN 978-0-688-13417-4

Norton ( Brother to Shadows ) will please her fans with this fantasy about a girl with psychic powers who combats an ancient evil with the aid of an embittered young noble. In a blighted valley called the Ryft, the waif Alnosha, called Nosh, is taught by the wise woman Dreen about the beneficent power of Lyr, which once made the valley flourish. Meanwhile, the youth Kryn, witnessing the downfall of his father at the hands of a malevolent priest, barely escapes with his life. The priest's minions enter the Ryft, and Nosh flees with Dreen. The girl exhibits a newfound talent for reading the history of jewels, including the now-scattered crystal fingers of Lyr, which, if found, could destroy the real enemy, the wizard Razcan. Nosh and the skeptical Kryn meet and join forces, narrowly avoiding many dangers on their search that will provide salvation for many. Norton once again creates a mystical yet credible world, inhabited by engaging protagonists, dastardly villains and fetching creatures--particularly the reptilian zarks. (June)