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To Light a Candle
by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
656 pages; ISBN: 0765302209

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


To Light a Candle

Tor, Oct 2004, $27.95, 656 pp.
ISBN: 0765302209

The Golden City of Armethalieh’s Mage Council banished Kellen for possessing three books on the banned Wild Magic. Kellen left knowing how disappointed his sire, head of the council, was with him for practicing heresy. He quickly proves his worth at least outside the human population as a powerful warrior Knight Mage (see the award winning THE OUTSTRETCHED SHADOW).

The elves honor on Kellen when they name him to their war council. Still in spite of his recent military and wizardry success, Kellen fails to persuade his hometown’s Mage Council that danger remains from the deadly Demon Queen. These obstinate human magic practitioners cannot see beyond their “High” use because the enemy has infiltrated the council influencing everything.

While Kellen fails with the human council, his Wild Mage healer sister Idalia and his eleven knight-in-arms brother Jermayan fall in love. Though an elf and human relationship is uncommon, even rarer is that Jermayan bonds with a dragon. Stunned to learn of the bonding, the Demon Queen sends her minion in waves to destroy her enemies.

The action-packed second Obsidian fantasy grips readers from the moment that the human Kellen struggles with adverse weather (he grew up in a mage-controlled climate) and never slows down until the final altercation. The story line is fast-paced and never feels like a middle passage. Though it would help to read the first book prior to this one to gain a better understanding of the cast especially Kellen, fantasy fans know few if any authors can light a candle better than Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory can.

Harriet Klausner


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