After the death of the Lord Protector Lanachrona and his son's treachery, Mykella (The Lord-Protector's Daughter), his oldest daughter and heir, becomes the first Lady Protector in many years. Along with her sisters, Mykella strives to sort out the tangled politics and fraying finances of her new protectorate while learning to use the long-buried magical talent that has just resurfaced. As she faces both magical and mortal enemies, Mykella learns quickly to sort friend from foe and discovers the true cost of power. The latest installment of Modesitt's popular "Corean Chronicles" delivers a strong and admirable female protagonist and builds upon a richly detailed fantasy universe. VERDICT Moving easily from the big political picture to the minutiae that come with ruling a country, Modesitt crafts a world that is both magical and believable.
In the eighth book of the Corean Chronicles, a young ruler takes up magic against a sea of troubles.
Mykella has executed her uncle, the usurping Lord-Protector whose schemes killed her father and brother, but fresh crises loom. As the first Lady-Protector of Lanachrona, she faces a culture unaccustomed to being ruled by a woman; the corrupt nobles, who aided her uncle to strip the country of its gold and severely damage its infrastructure; invasion from neighboring lands; and an Ifrit incursion from two other worlds. On Mykella's side are a few faithful retainers, her sisters, her indomitable will and integrity, and her powerful, not entirely understood, magical Talent, which can both sift truth from falsehood and kill the enemies she detects thereby. The characterization is fairly flat: The heroes are all noble and honest, and at worst, only temporarily misguided. There's apparently nothing more to the human villains than greed and misogyny, and the nonhuman Ifrits express only race hatred and a fierce survival instinct. Modesitt (The Lord-Protector's Daughter, 2008, etc.) does an excellent job of laying out the protagonist's web of predicaments in a fairly realistic, if somewhat slow and repetitious manner, only to rush to the climax and tie up at least some of the problems in a far-too-neat bow (which will probably partially unravel in a subsequent volume).
Fine for those already invested in the series.