In the same vein as LOTR, with elves, dwarves,swords and horses; this is a brilliant fantasy , the characters are well drawn and the plot convoluted enough to keep you interested.
The story takes place in Mydren, a huge continent on an Earth-like planet in an alternate universe. The main male character Conlon, wishes to end the tyranny in Mydren by creating 4 elemental avatars using magic. He needs a human soul to animate his avatars and he gets these via a portal to our Earth. He chooses someone on the point of death and asks if they would like another chance at life, if they agree he transports their soul through the portal to create an avatar. Eleanor is one of these souls and she turns out to be quite a handful, but her challenging approach to things leads to the success that has alluded him for the last ten years. In this book the first part of the quest is completed but there is so much more left to tell, in fact the final chapter is called " The Beginning". I'm looking forward to book two.