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A talented knife-maker with a natural affinity with the elements of the earth, Katla Aransen, the beautiful and rebellious daughter of an Eyran merchant, finds herself targeted by Istrian fanatics after she accidentally commits sacrilege and by Saro Katla, a blade-forger; and Saro, the second son of an Istrian nobleman--are forever changed.
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Jude Fisher is a pseudonym for Jane Johnson, publishing director of HarperCollins' SF imprint, Voyager. She holds two literature degrees, specializing in Anglo Saxon and Old Icelandic texts, and is also a qualified lecturer. For the last twenty years, Jane has been the publisher of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and is the author of the official Visual Companions to Peter Jackson's movie trilogy of THE LORD OF THE RINGS.From Booklist:
Eryan merchant's daughter Katla Aransen attends the yearly Allfair, at which the peoples of Elda trade and socialize, for the first time. Beside herself with excitement, she scales the sacred mount Eryans call Sur's Castle to better view the festivities. The mount, however, is contested between Erya and Istria, and Istrian law bars from it all women but the Istrians' goddess. Two irate Istrian elders spot Katla, who knows nothing of the law, and vow to capture and burn her. Meanwhile in another section of the Allfair, mystery and trouble brew among the Footloose. Three strangers have joined the magical tribe: an albino male; the Rose of Elda, who inspires blind lust in every man; and a black cat possessing more magical secrets than any other living thing ever has. Wherever the three go, the land's old magic is powerfully awakened, though something in it is twisted and wrong. This series opener sports unusual characters and intriguingly contrasts two societies' treatment of women and the effects their differing gender practices have on their respective cultures. Paula Luedtke
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