I picked up my first Carol Berg book after hearing one of her amazing workshops on world-building (or was it revision?) at one of RMFW’s Colorado Gold conferences. That was The Spirit Lens, the first in the series that finished off with this one I’ve just read.
The series follows a librarian/failed magician, a magic skeptic and an unorthodox mage as they unravel conspiracies and legends that threaten their kingdom, their world, and even the afterlife. In this particular book, Dante, the mage left disabled after his fight with the forces of evil at the end of book two (The Soul Mirror), discovers that his enemies are not quite so defeated as he thought, and righting what is wrong requires facing his own past, his own demons.
As I expected from work by an author with so much good stuff to say about revision and world-building, this series boasts finely polished prose and a richly textured world. The characters are well-rounded, interestingly flawed, and sympathetic. I’m rooting for them all through their intricately plotted quest to save the world. The books don’t quite make my all-time-favorite, reread again and again shelf (I can’t quite put my finger on why), but they’re thoroughly enjoyable, and I’ll certainly pick up more Carol Berg books in the future.