Turning the Storm
by Naomi Kritzer
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
384 pages; ISBN: 0553585509
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
The perfume war fought between the mages of Verdiana and those of the Kingdom of Vesuvia devastated the lands leaving behind a desert. Out of this fiasco, the Fedeli force everyone to practice their religion while the Circle of Mages hones their skills for the next battle.
The Fideli assault the conservatory where Eliana practiced the violin. She flees to the wasteland, where she eventually leads a counter revolt as the head of the newly formed Lupi. A battle against the mages leaves many of her supporters dead. Eliana joins the outlawed Redentori and is a major reason they defeat the Mages in another skirmish. Cutting off enemy supply lines, Eliana and her side cause the Fedeli and Circle mages to prepare for an upcoming fight. Though a great military tactician, Eliana can win only if she is not betrayed by her allies.
TURNING THE STORM is a mega action-packed fantasy tale that never slows down until the final battle is done. Eliana is a great warrior-leader, a sort of Joan of Arc, who rallies her forces through intelligent strategy and by front line example. The prime motif of the tale is oppression as shown by the repression of any religion except that practiced by the Fideli and the abuse of power by the Mage and the other leaders. Still with all that action, a strong lead heroine, and a deep message, the villains are real complex protagonists supported by strong beliefs. With this book and FIRES OF THE FAITHFUL, Naomi Kritzer shows how thought provoking yet entertaining the genre can be when a talented magician casts a writing spell on the readers.
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