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    PROPHECY by Elizabeth Haydon

    TOR, Tom Doherty Associates, July 2000

    Rhapsody has resolved herself to life in the new world but is assailed by nightmares. Rhapsody is intrigued by Ashe, a man who is either a victim of, or perhaps even a tool of the demons that threaten to destroy everything. Afraid to trust, unwilling to kill without certainty, Rhapsody must leave the relative safety of her brother Achmed's kingdom to travel with Ashe and seek the training she will need to confront the demon and its spawn.

    In this sequel to RHAPSODY (see our review of RHAPSODY), Elizabeth Haydon (see all of our reviews of novels by this author) further develops her complex world. Achmed is now king of the Bolgs, with Grunthor as his chief lieutenant. The two half-Bolgs explore their new kingdom discovering ancient secrets that may represent keys to the demon's dungeon. Meanwhile, Rhapsody visits with a dragon, one of the original races of the world, and receives training in the use of her sword of fire. Ashe has never recovered from the loss of his first great love. In his frantic efforts to bury his pain, he has lost a part of his soul.

    Too often, the second book in a trilogy sags. PROPHECY, in contrast, surpasses the earlier novel in the series. Rhapsody and Ashe, in particular, are well developed characters. The pain each endures forces the reader to care. Rhapsody's deep concern for the earth and for living things makes her powerfully sympathetic. She earns what love she is able to find through sacrifice. The magic of her power of naming allows her to once again transform Achmed into something he needs to be in order to escape his past.

    PROPHECY is one of the best Fantasy novels I have read in years.

    Five Stars

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