by Simon Brown
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
432 pages; ISBN: 0756402832
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Daw, Mar 2005, $6.99, 432 pp.
With the death of Empress Hetha Kevleren, regions of the powerful far flung Empire of Hamilay see an opportunity to use the magical force of the Sefid to secede. However, to be successful at Wielding the magic, sacrifice must occur; the closer the Wielder cherishes the victim, the more powerful the usage of the Sefid. The Kevleren have been the most powerful practitioners, but many believe that the Duchess Yunara is the strongest magician today though her sister Lerena is the new Empress.
General Third Prince Maddyn Kevleren is unable to work the magic of the Sefid as his relatives can especially his former lover and second cousin Yunara. He tries to make up for his inadequacy through military prowess, but knows that in spite of his being the top general in the empire he remains an embarrassment to his friends. As he angers Yunara, Maddyn knows he must flee to protect loved ones from her wrath. He accepts an opportunity to strengthen the empire’s stronghold in the New World, knowing that the unknown is less dangerous than the known.
Simon Brown, renowned for his Keys of Power trilogy, provides fantasy fans with a terrific new series with the fabulous Book One of the Chronicles of Kydan. The well written story line moves on two fronts as Maddyn tries to serve the new Empress while keeping his loved ones safe from retaliation; the two royal siblings have troubles starting with a Rivald revolt and massacre aided by magic that seems impossible to have occurred the way it apparently did. Because the key powerful cast seems real, they make magic appear normal so that epic fantasy readers will enjoy Mr. Brown’s latest saga.
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