cover image Allegiance


Beth Bernobich. Tor, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2219-7

Old friends, enemies, and allies continue their deadly game, unsure whether it will end in war or peace, in Bernobich’s third River of Soul fantasy set in a Europe-like land of uneasily coexisting countries (after Passion Play and Queen’s Hunt). Ilse Zhalina and Raul Kosenmark are lovers and spies. Enemies from Ilse’s past, people she met randomly in passing, family members, and casual acquaintances both help and hinder Ilse as she makes her way out of Károví, back home to Melnek, and then to the king’s palace in Duenne to reach Raul. During this journey, Ilse retraces her footsteps from three years ago and comes to terms with all that she’d done since she ran away from her father’s home. Readers will be on the edge of the seats with every machination and twist, delighted as characters who were introduced in passing suddenly have their places and purposes revealed. The conclusion leaves fans waiting impatiently to know what happens to the Duke of Károví and Valara Baussay, the Queen of Morennioù; all will presumably be revealed in future volumes. (Nov.)