Book - Prophecy
Three cheers for Elizabeth Haydon! One great book (Rhapsody: Child of Blood) might be a fluke. But its sequel, Prophecy: Child of Earth, keeps right on developing great characters in a believable fantasy world without sacrificing the momentum of a terrific story. Best of all, Haydon promises to bring the current adventure to a conclusion in the next book, so no need to fear TNS (the never-ending saga). Prophecy continues the stories of Rhapsody, the Namer who uses song, herb-lore, and affinities with fire and starlight to heal and protect, and her adoptive family: Achmed the Snake, an obnoxious former assassin and King of the savage Firbolg race, and Grunthor, his huge, cheerfully cannibalistic sidekick. Rhapsody travels in the company of the mysterious Ashe, who becomes much less mysterious as the story progresses. She meets a dragon, trains with a Lirin swordmistress who once carried Rhapsody's fiery sword, Daystar Clarion, and races to prevent the assassination of the Patriarch of Sepulvarta. Meanwhile, Achmed and Grunthor discover secrets of their mountain stronghold and learn more of their own powers. Together they repel renewed attacks by the F'dor, a demon seeking apocalyptic destruction. But they have not yet identified the demon's host or disarmed all of its agents, and time is running out. Fans of epic fantasy will find Haydon a worthy successor to Tolkien, ranking with Robin Hobb and Guy Gavriel Kay. Just don't start reading too late in the day--once you've begun, you won't want to stop.