A Magic of Dawn
Daw, Apr 2010, $24.95
By 563, Nessantico the once proud powerful Empire remains divided, but a renaissance of sorts has blossomed under its female ruler Kraljica Alessandra ca’Vorl, Fifteen years ago The brutal Tehuantin army invaded from Hellins, but were repelled. Alessandra managed to keep the Sun Throne as ordained in the capitol city of Nessantico, but the empire was fractured as the city-states were divided in support of her and in allegiance to her son Jan ca’Ostheim, leader of the rebellious Coalition of Firenzcia.
Mother and daughter have negotiated since the last horde invasion, but so far that has proven futile. The Concenzia Faith has arisen seeking its once glorious position of power; they face strong opposition from within led by Nico ce'Morel, who though defrocked three years ago, leads a powerful following who demand a strict fundamentalist reshaping of the Faith and from the secular ruler and her Garde Kralji, who reject religious influence. As violence between the groups increases, the Tehuantin have regrouped and deployed ready to invade again. If Alessandra and Jan fail to come together, Nessantico will crumble again by the invading horde; if they come together the empire has a chance, but the religious-secular schism may prove too internally divisive and enervating to overcome anyway.
The third Nessantico Cycle political-military fantasy (see A Magic of Twilight and A Magic of Nightfall) is a great finish to a strong saga. Fast-paced and loaded with action, the characters and their divided loyalties make the Farrell mythos seem real. Readers will enjoy the exciting finish in spite of a late spin that some will relish and others question as too simplifying. Newcomers would be better suited reading the previous magical tales first to better appreciate the world S.L. Farrell has constructed as it begins and ends with the city of Nessantico.