Tor, Mar 2008, 14.95
Led by their Ageless King, the Danisoban Brethren control all magical usage by abducting children who display the mage abilities of a Promise; parents are killed especially if they try to intercede. Thus young Kestrel is turned into an orphan by the Danisoban, but she manages to escape hiding in the streets as a ragged young beggar. Eventually she learns the way to neutralize magic is water so she becomes a sailor to hide herself from the Danisoban.
Although not formally trained, Kestrel has the skill to control weather while learning to live at sea. After meeting roguish pirate Captain Artemus Binns, she signs on as one of his crew. When Artemus is arrested for piracy, Kestrel pursues him planning to rescue her leader. Instead she finds herself caught in a family civil war between the Ageless King and his seditious offspring Prince Jeremie, who is tired of waiting for his sire to die.
This swashbuckling adventure in a fantasy realm makes for a wild enjoyable one sitting read. The story line is fast-paced as Kestrel gives chase to rescue her hunk of a captain; she is the center that keeps this fine thriller afloat. Although not much is provided on Misty Massey’s magical realm beyond the Danisoban control and the deterrence of water, fans will appreciate this spirited adventure saga wondering who is the modern day female Errol Flynn to play MAD KESTREL.