by Willey, Elizabeth
Fantasy - Willey's first novel is an entertaining, though meandering fantasy strongly reminiscent of Roger Zelazny's Amber books. Lord Gwydion has been ruling the Dominion of Argylle since his mother, Freia, fell into the family's magical Spring during a sorcerous battle. Following that conflict, Freia's grieving brother and husband went into a self-imposed exile, leaving Gwydion and his four siblings without the help of their elders' prodigious magical and leadership skills. Alone they must face numerous tribulations: a gigantic dragon of immeasurable age and magical power who threatens their borders; an untrustworthy cousin from a neighboring realm; and most disturbingly, a young woman who arrives claiming to be a lost sister. Meanwhile, Gwydion stumbles across some highly sensitive secrets - including hints about his mother's true fate - which could exact a terrible price from his family. This book is an occasionally bewildering but interesting amalgam of medieval gentility, high-tech alternate worlds, family drama and the sometimes jarring inclusion of SF elements in a fantasy framework. Willey's characters and their interactions, if a bit derivative, are appealing; her potential as a fantasist makes her atmospheric tale worth reading.