From Publishers Weekly
British author McKenna, already known for her Tales of Einarinn series, is bound to earn plenty of new fans with her U.S. hardcover debut. Although the folk of the vast Aldabreshin Archipelago live by portents and auguries, they fear magic, to the point of executing those felt to be tainted by it. After brutal magical attacks from the south push the Archipelago's citizens to near panic, fair-minded warlord Daish Kheda strives to forge an alliance with his fellow warlords, but petty squabbles stand in the way. When another warlord attempts to murder Kheda and his family in their sleep, Kheda disappears, letting his enemies as well as allies assume he's dead. An original and intriguing setting, impressive world-building and compelling writing set McKenna's work apart from a field thick with far less ambitious fantasy works. Fans of Rosemary Kirstein and Robin Hobb will enjoy this book.
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"When a talented writer makes fiction seem like history, the book becomes an event. The world Juliet McKenna has created within the Aldabreshin Archipelago is carefully developed, layer upon layer, giving it the reality which is the hallmark of outstanding fantasy. She writes very visual prose, enabling the reader to see every scene in great detail. Her characters are colorful and believable; love them or hate them, you won't forget them. I certainly won't. Kheda, Risala, Dev, and many others linger in my mind, awaiting the continuation of their story."--Morgan Llywelyn on Southern Fire
"Juliet McKenna is too intelligent to deliver a dour extruded plot-coupon quest, the type of series to which the deathly phrase 'In The Grand Tradition of The Lord Of The Rings' is applied in a desperate attempt to conceal its essential lack of ideas: she's the thinking fantasy reader's writer, and the stuff she writes is dangerously addictive."-Charles Stross on Southern Fire
"British author McKenna, already known for her Tales of Einarinn series, is bound to earn plenty of new fans with her U.S. hardcover debut. . . .An original and intriguing setting, impressing world-building and compelling writing set McKenna's work apart form a field thick with far less ambitious fantasy works. Fans of Rosemary Kirstein and Robin Hobb will enjoy this book." -Publishers Weekly on Southern Fire
"Juliet McKenna's world creation is deeply textured and strongly resonant of the middle ages without sounding like Tolkien rehashed. Her characters are well-developed, strongly motivated, admirable, and yet have a normal array of human weaknesses. I find her work engrossing."--David Farland on Southern Fire