Shadowsinger

by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
Release date: 2002
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasyhigh fantasy

L. E. Modesitt, Jr. has developed a wide and growing readership with his popular series The Saga of Recluce. With this new book, Shaodwsinger, he completes another masterful tale that will take its place among his best and most popular work.

In the four previous volumes of The Spellsong CycleThe Soprano Sorcerss, The Spellsong War, Darksong Rising, and The Shadow Sorceress — Modesitt has created a rich and complex world and culture, a truly enthralling magical system based on the use of music to create power, and a captivating set of characters embroiled in wars, diplomacy, and politics and, at the same time, immersed in all the concerns of daily life, including love and romance.

The sorceress Secca, principal foster daughter of Anna, the legendary Soprano Sorceress, has taken on responsibilities and authority far beyond what she felt prepared for upon the unexpected death of her beloved mentor. She has fought battles, led armies, has also, unexpectedly, found love and support in the person of her new husband, Alcaren, a soldier of the people of Ranuak and himself a secret sorcerer in a society where magic is not trusted and sorcerers are often assassinated.

As the new Sorceress Protector of Defalk, she must deal carefully with her willful master and wield her power to save his kingdom and the rest of the free world from the Maitre of Sturinn, his invading armies, his dominating fleets, and his legions of master sorcerers. Faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, she is forced to test her own powers over and over again, invent or rediscover ever more destructive magic spells, and guard herself against treachery, magical attacks, and silent opposition from supposed allies. All this while teaching her husband and her young and inexperienced apprentice the skills they need to aid her in creating spells powerful enough to shake the foundations of the world.

As always, Modesitt draws us into the lives of his characters, makes us feel the dilemmas they wrestle with and the conflicts that tear at their souls, makes us believe not just in the power of magic but also in that of the human heart. This climactic volume of The Spellong Cycle is one of his best books to date and a powerful and dramatic payoff to a magnificent fantasy creation.

(updated 2017-01-18)

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