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    Review of IN LEGEND BORN by Laura Resnick (see her website)

    TOR, August 1998

    When he fled Sileria nine years before, Tansen had been a young man. Now he is a trained warrior. But he lacks a cause, something worth fighting for. Only when he finds the rebel Josarian does he see a chance to achieve his destiny. Josarian has a cause--freedom for Sileria after a thousand years of occupation. It's a goal that Tansen couldn't even have conceived on his own, but once he's been shown the goal, he is an expert on following through. As long as Josarian keeps the faith and doesn't do anything stupid like throwing himself into a volcano to prove that he is, in fact, the prophesied warrior.

    Author Laura Resnick (see more reviews of novels by Resnick) builds a wonderful, complex, and sophisticated world of magic, culture, and betrayal. Water Lords rule through fear and assassination as well as powerful magic. Guardians preserve fire magics despite centuries of oppression. A pre-human race huddles in the sewers and caves beneath the capitol city, fearful that whatever humans win, they will lose. Feuds tear at this ancient island, keeping the people from uniting against their oppressive occupiers. Even within the rebellion, factions squabble over goals, methods, and the ultimate winner.

    Tansen is a fine character, tormented by the decisions that led him to fear Sileria in the first place (betraying an earlier rebellion and murdering the man who had become his father). The Elelar, who would do anything to free her people, is another carefully crafted and three-dimensional figure.

    But it's the world-building rather than the characters that make IN LEGEND BORN most interesting. Readers who enjoy complex magic systems, sophisticated societies, and complex moral issues will find a lot to enjoy in this novel.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 10/16/03

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