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On a magical island ruled by a cruel king whose stone skin protects him from all physical harm, the young slave girl Aolia discovers her true identity as the Esiren Firechild, the one person whose magic can defeat the tyrant. Constantly pursued by those who would kill her, including a man she thought she loved and the brother who promised to save her, Aolia discovers other Firechildren. The author of Psalm of the Desert Lionbrings a crispness and directness to his storytelling that propels his novel to its inevitable, though at times unexpected, conclusion. Intriguing characterizations of both heroes and villains make this a good choice for most fantasy collections.