The Sword and the Flame
by Barbara M. Hodges & C. R. MacPhadrick
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
391 pages; ISBN: 0971508380
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Photojournalist Kelsey Cafferty sneaks into Siberia to locate an elf so that she can cross the rift bridge to Daradawn. Though she finds Needa the elf, she is captured by other elves. They cross into Daradawn only to have the rift abnormally slam shut behind them instead of remaining open for the normal seven days.
Daradawn has changed in many respects, but one thing remains the same. A threat to the people and the land from Dirkk the malevolent exists. This time he has outside help. The world of Vigrid, icy home to the Valkyrie, is divided by a civil war between The Valkyrie of the Night Guard Legion vs. the Followers of the Sun. Regan the earthborn Daradawn Keeper of the Blue Flame is caught in the battle between warrior women. Two worlds, perhaps even a third, are at stake as Dirkk diabolically yet brilliantly uses the Valkyries to conquer Daradawn even if every breathing soul (he has none so he is not worried) dies in his final victory.
The key to this collaboration is that the authors somehow make to diverse magical realms seem so real. The story line is action packed whether it is in Siberia, Daradawn, or Vigrid. The cast comes across as genuine sentient beings caught in inter-global calamities that make for a delightful epic fantasy. Barbara M. Hodges and C. R. MacPhadrick pull off a coup that can only mean she is from Daradawn and he must be hiding on Vigrid.
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