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KLIATTAbandoned Reisil has been trained as a tark: a healer. She is just starting to feel comfortable with her efforts, the village, and a possible lover. Then a black-and-white goshawk tries to attach herself to Reisil. Although the tark is emotionally taken with the large bird, she knows that the Blessed Lady has marked Reisil to be an ahalad-kaaslane: a leader who can have no homeland. Reisil tries repeatedly to avoid the goshawk and the mantle of leadership, but she is finally compelled to seek them out when a princess is kidnapped. Losing the royalty seriously jeopardizes the fragile truce between two lands, and Reisil is the only one uniquely equipped to rescue the princess-and peace. To succeed, she must face untold danger, and loss of her love. This well-plotted fantasy explores the illusions and inner truths of good and evil. Both males and females are well portrayed in the process. Clear writing and good character development make this a satisfying read. KLIATT Codes: SA-Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2003, Penguin Putnam, Roc, 369p., Ages 15 to adult.
— Dr. Lesley S.J. Farmer