Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Skirmish-Michelle West


Michelle West

Daw, Jan 3 2012, $25.95

ISBN 9780756407018

In the Essalieyan Empire, the Terafin leader of the House Terafin is dead, a victim of demonic assassination. A power struggle ensues as to who will replace the head of the most powerful House. Former Averallaan street and Undercity urchin Jewel “Jay” ATerafin, encouraged by her late mentor, her den mates and her magical associates (two immortals, the Winter King stag and three giant winged cats who never shut up), considers applying for the vacant position.

Four candidates announce they want the job; Jay is not one of them. Demons stalk and attack her while she deliberates whether she wants the job. Peaceful transition is impossible as each side has human and magical allies that they deploy.

The latest House War political fantasy (see House Name and City of Night) is an engaging thriller as civil war to take charge of the most powerful House has begun. Jay has come a long way since Rath, the late Terafin’s brother, found her (see Hidden City) and brought her to his estranged sister. However, the key to this exciting thriller is the magic feels genuine and lethal as paranormal combat has begun. Although fans will be disappointed in how Jay employs her skills, the demise of a major figure in the previous three entries brings freshness with death a real possibility to anyone in the House War saga.

Harriet Klausner

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