cover image Ice Magic, Fire Magic

Ice Magic, Fire Magic

Shauna Roberts . Hadley Rille (Ingram, dist.), $16 trade paper (314p) ISBN 978-0-9892631-8-4

Betrayal strikes from an unexpected source in Roberts's tale of a mythical world where the very earth is a mighty life force that determines the fate of its people. Healer-in-training Fila is 18 years old, guileless, unassuming, and often overlooked. She wants nothing more than to quietly live out her life serving the Land of Veridia and tending to those who dwell there: the magical Guardians and the Toilers who provide for them. But when the Servant%E2%80%94Veridia's human link to its inhabitants and the portal through which its magic flows%E2%80%94is suddenly lost, the Land chooses Fila to be her successor. Woefully unprepared for the role, Fila must face down angry detractors, power-mad usurpers, debilitating self-doubt, and a sinister spirit that offers help but may have its own agenda, all while she tries to protect and restore what was once a peaceful Land. Roberts presents fully fleshed-out characters whose histories provide meaning to their motivations, and the plot moves along nicely as the drama unfolds. The denouement may be short on surprises, but the journey there is wholly satisfying. (Sept.)