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Modesitt returns to the setting of two earlier trilogies with a stand-alone novel that keeps readers engaged right up to the perfunctory conclusion. As oldest daughter of the ruler of Lanachrona, Mykella has high rank but no real power. Though intelligent and diligent enough to uncover an embezzlement plot, she cannot inherit and expects to be married off for political alliance. Then she receives a supernatural warning of danger and is told she must discover her psionic Talent to save her loved ones. As she struggles to defeat both evil nonhuman powers and treachery within her own family, her fumbling but determined efforts are endearing. Unfortunately, the abrupt ending leaves unresolved the larger issues of the role of magic in public life and the position of women in society. (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.