cover image Judge


R.J. Larson. Bethany House, $14.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-7642-0972-7

Larson moves forward the action and characters of Prophet in the next installment of the Books of the Infinite series. Prophet Ela of Parne bears the burden of knowing that her homeland risks the judgment of the Infinite because of its corruption. The soldier for whom she has feelings, Kien Lantec, has gotten an unwanted callup from the divine to go to Toron Sea, which has succumbed to the lure of the false god Atea. Kien is a reluctant conscript, and his halfhearted response earns him a Jonahesque adventure at sea. Ela, meanwhile, faces the classic prophet’s dilemma: she is without honor in her own country as countrymen turn against her and her visions. The adventure/fantasy will especially engage readers who can appreciate the Old Testament stories of prophets and judges that are the novel’s palimpsest. Some less religiously versed readers may wonder why the Infinite is so exacting, a question that animates biblical scholarship. Even with a borrowed plot arc, Larson is good at making readers care about her human characters. Agent: Tamela Hancock Murray. (Nov.)