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The Broken Crown
Michelle West
DAW Books, 764 pages

The Broken Crown
Michelle West

Michelle West, better known to her friends as Michelle Sagara, was born in 1963, lives with her husband and child in Toronto, works at Bakka, Canada's oldest SF and fantasy book store (along with her brother, Gary), and writes wonderful books. She has been published as Michelle Sagara, Michelle West and, occasionally, Michelle Sagara West. Twice a Campbell Award nominee (1991 and 1992), she writes a periodic book review column, Guilty Pleasures, for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Michelle West (SFF.NET)
Michelle West (U of T)
Rodger's review of Hunter's Death
Michelle West Reading List

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Wayne MacLaurin

A couple years ago I was introduced to Michelle West's work when a friend recommended Hunter's Oath to me. I was immediately taken in and devoured both it and its sequel, Hunter's Death. It was a pretty good indication of what to expect from Michelle West.

Those of you who have read the previous volumes will recognize some of the characters in this new series, but only Allasakar -- the really nasty demon -- plays a major role. Evayne and Kallandras do appear, but don't get involved in any of the heavy lifting. Set about fifteen years later, the focus of this new novel is a woman with a forbidden talent: Dora Maria di'Marano. Dora lives in Annagar, where men rule and women dwell in harems. Caught up in the politics of her family, Dora tries to exert influence using her magical voice to command others.

The conflict comes from a demonic plot to free Allasakar, the result of which would be to plunge the continent into war and slavery. Demons... can't live with them; damn hard to kill.

As expected from a writer of Michelle West's talent and depth, The Broken Crown is the start of a lengthy tale with complex characters and an even more complex plot. Alliances and plots (physical rather than literary) amongst the noble families of Tor Leonne and Averalaan Aramarelas keep the reader thoroughly engrossed.

However, this is the start of a series. So don't expect the book to end with much, if anything, resolved. But if The Broken Crown is any indication, this is going to be another great series, one well worth the wait between books.

Copyright © 1997 by Wayne MacLaurin

Wayne MacLaurin is a regular SF Site reviewer. More of his opinions are available on our Book Reviews pages.

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