by Naomi Kritzer
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
336 pages; ISBN: 0553586742
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Bantam, May 2005, $6.99, 336 pp.
After Alexander dies, the Empire went into a decline until Penelope the first weaver learned how to control the djinn. Using their magic, they reconquered the countries that broke away from the empire, most learned to live with the Greeks as their rulers. Lauria, a free woman in service to Kyros the commander of the military garrison in Elpisia, as part of her job brings back runaway slaves who find refuge with the Alashi, a nomadic warrior group who remain free of Greek rule.
After infiltrating the Alashi, Lauria sees how wrong she was to return runaway slaves and vows to free them from their masters. A runaway slave recognizes Lauria and exposes her deception. The Alashi exile her leaving her with no home but even more determined to free the slaves she captured. With her friend Tamar who accompanies her on her quest, the two women free the slaves who are scattered all over the empire. Both women know if they are caught, the penalty for their crimes is a tortuous death.
This is the second book of THE DEAD RIVERS trilogy but it can stand alone because the storyline doesn’t rely on the first book FREEDOM’S GATE. The use of djinn in the political and military arena is taken for granted and people see magic in their everyday life as something normal and natural. There is plenty of action in FREEDOM’S APPRENTICE as the heroine undoes the harm she caused to the runaway slaves. Some of the method she uses to find and free the slave are ingenious and will win her the admiration of the audience. Naomi Kritzer’s world where the Greek Empire never fell and is the ruler of most of the known world is exciting and believable
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