Luna, Nov 2008, $14.95
Twelve years ago the feral Descendents of the Ilion Army took advantage of the schism between the four Spirit villages attacked Velekos and Asermos. The war between them is nasty with one side unconcerned with collateral damage to innocents. There is the fundamental value of the world at stake in a winner takes all conflagration. The Spirit uses animal magic that has made them increasingly more powerful with each new generation; the Descendants loath Spirit magic as evil. However, the Descendents outnumber their enemy and increasingly appear to be winning the hostilities.
The Spirit followers pray that the ancient prophecy that claims the only Spirit Raven who has failed to guide a human will do so soon as the dark days are turning bleaker. Spirit mages Rhia of the Guardian Crow Spirit and her husband Marek accompany their eighteen years old son Nilik, who they hope is the one as he seeks vengeance against the murdering Descendents who killed his girlfriend; He joins his uncle’s army while the hostilities remain unabated. Rhia must deliver the REAWAKENED if her side is to survive.
Fans of the Aspect fantasy (see VOICE OF CROW and EYES OF CROW) will relish this entertaining finish but newcomers will be lost for much of the tale. The story line is filled with action, but driven by the desperation of Rhia and her family as a way of life is to be decided between clashing cultures. With a nod to Native-American nineteenth century heritage (including war with the invading American armies, Jeri Smith-Ready provides a deep metaphoric trilogy of cultures at war.