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Born of Empire
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The Hamilayan Empire and the Kingdom of Rivald are two great nations each ruled by separate branches of the same family, the Kelveren. The Kelverens rule because they alone possess the gift of working the magic of the Sefid, a source of incredible power that claims a dreadful price. Lerena Kevleren, the newly crowned Empress of Hamilay, will need more than magic to solve the problems of her new reign. Her sister Yunara, unstable and supremely gifted with the Sefid, is obsessed with an ex-lover, Maddyn. He is one of the few members of the Kelveren bloodline who cannot access the Sefid, and has made matters even worse by defying Kelveren law and having a child with a commoner. Banishment seems the only course. The leadership of a colonial expedition is a convenient cover but when revolution breaks out in Rivald, Lerena’s indecision, Yunara’s outrage and Maddyn’s defiance will take each of them to places beyond their worst fears. Simon Brown showed in his first series, ‘Keys of Power’, that he likes his fantasy fast, clever and unpredictable. Born of Empire is all of these and more, an excellent recommendation to fans of the darker fantasy ethos of writers such as Anne Bishop, Robin Hobb and Jennifer Fallon. Stefen Brazulaitis is a bookseller and SF/fantasy genre specialist at Dymocks Carousel . C. 2004 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors

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