cover image The Court War

The Court War

Violette Malan. DAW, $28 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7564-1789-5

Malan’s entertaining yet anticlimactic sequel to The Godstone finds independent magic Practitioner Fenra Lowens tasked with convincing the narrow-minded Practitioners of the White Court to leave the comforts of the unnamed capital City and use their magic to keep the World, here imagined as a living organism, in balance. But the people of the City are growing restless and tension mounts between the Red Court’s mundanes, who can’t use magic, and the White Court’s Practitioners. War breaks out between these two factions before Fenra can make her case, landing her and her partner, Elvanyn, in the crossfire. They must band together with new allies—including White Court council member Tamari Otwyn and Red Court courtier Wittenslade Camdin Volden—to stop the conflict. All the while, the World is dying, triggering natural disasters and leaving Fenra torn between helping her friends and meeting the World’s impatient demands. Despite the sky-high stakes, there’s a lack of urgency to the oddly diffuse plot, making this less of a page turner than the previous installment. Still, the expanded magic system and new characters add some intrigue. Series fans will hope things tighten up in Malan’s next outing. Agent: Joshua Blimes, JABberwocky. (July.)