Friday, September 14, 2007

Unveiling the Sorceress-Saskia Walker

Unveiling the Sorceress
Saskia Walker
Juno, Aug 2007, $12.95
ISBN: 9780809557813

The Emperor of Aleem and the Empress of Karseedia sign a friendship alliance between their nations. Besides ending the war between them, the key coda to affirm their serious adherence to the treaty and as a final binding is the agreement that his daughter Elishiba and her son Hanrah will marry. Although Elishiba does not wish to wed the stranger who just became emperor, she knows her duty to her people must come first and if marriage prevents further hostilities so that her people can prosper in safety so be it; still she hopes to negotiate with her future spouse.

Meanwhile the Council of the Gods is worried about the unrest in the exotic lands inadvertently caused by a bored rogue member Hurda. The Godsend Amshazar is assigned to unravel the mess and return things to what they were before Hurda’s women’s rights interference. As Elishiba quickly learns the power of the Karseedia throne resides totally with her future mother-in-law as Hanrah is her ineffective childish puppet, she meets and falls in love with Amshazar; he feels as strongly about her. However, their respective missions appear to leave these star-crossed lovers as adversaries.

This is a terrific romantic fantasy in which the key players seem genuine especially the heroine who finds herself struggling with layers of political intrigue and Machiavellian manipulations by the Empress, the Godsend she loves, and even her father. If she chooses Amshazar she will have to obey the Empress; something she does not seem capable of doing. Readers will appreciate this strong tale as the magical elements enhance the deviousness of mortals and Gods to get others to do their bidding; welcome to Walker world.

Harriet Klausner

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