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on 16 March 2002
Book four of the Spellsong Cycle takes us years into the future to when Anna is nearing the end of her life and her young wards are now wielding there own powers.
Secca, who was only a child in the earlier books, now takes centre stage reluctantly after the death of Anna. The character of Secca is basically Anna from the first book with her confidence problems. Where as Anna's insecurity stemmed from the alien word she found herself: Secca's insecurity seems to stem more from the loss of Anna & her guidance.
When I was reading this book I was surprised at how little the land and people had changed over the supposed years - considering the momentous occurrences and the very strong character of Anna, which came through in the earlier works, this leaves one feeling that an opportunity to fully expand on the previous books has been missed. Some of the main characters have changed but they bring nothing particularly new or interesting to the series. I have found that certain writers who produce lengthy series' like David Edding's or J V Jones occasionally allow their earlier works to carry a latter work of a lower calibre, as in this case.
If like me you have enjoyed the previous three books I would recommend buying this new book, as it is still a very enjoyable read. I just hope that Modesitt becomes a bit more creative with his next offering.
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on 27 April 2017
Okay quality - great book
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on 12 December 2009
Having read the first trilogy over and over and absolutely loved it, I found this book as an old 2001 Baltimore Library book available in the UK.
Again, after reading it I was hooked again by the young sorceress Secca, as I had originally been by Anna in the first three books. What I find puzzling, is that no matter where I look I can find no reference to a fifth book in this series.
Did L.E. Modesitt. Jr. Give up on the series? Or is there somewhere a hidden treasure trove of books continuing Secca's life and the fight for Defalk.
I truly hope there is, as there are still many options left for the development of this wonderful, magical tale.
Please Mr Modesitt, don't give up on the readers that love these books.

What about Anna's children? Did one come through from the mist worlds looking for her mother, and follow in her mothers footsteps? Did the Matriarch reveal herself as a mighty sorceress in her own right, and use that power to help Secca finally defeat the Sea Priests and the Ladies Of The Shadows?
Did Robero finally become the ruler Anna wanted him to be, or will Secca have to replace him and become the ruler of all Defalk and the surrounding provinces?
Finally, what happened to the other apprentice sorceresses? Do they come together to wreck even more mayhem among the thirty-three and the enemies of Defalk?

I could go on and on about this magical series of books, I am still hoping to find a fifth volume, and a sixth... and a seventh!
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on 13 January 2012
I only read this part of the series, so I can't compare Secca to Anna, and I really enjoyed it. Often in fantasy books women are portrayed as the disadvantaged sex, as if writers couldn't imagine that this is not a necessary state of affairs, but the issue is seldom raised, as it is in this book. I like the feminism of this story. I don't think Secca has confidence issues either, I think her confidence is reasonable, taking into acocunt that she's inexperienced and always compared with her great predecessor. It's just that in our culture success is often associated with overconfidence (which is actually quite an ugly quality) and she's not overconfident. The story is well constructed, fast-paced, gripping and I love the imaginative world (except that it just seems more practical to give people jobs in mining or building roads rather than exhaust sorceresses on such tasks ;-))

The only negative thing I'd say is that everybody seems to talk in the same way and it makes dialogues a bit dreary.
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on 2 July 2013
I thoroughly enjoy all the Spellsong novels and this was certainly no exception. The inclusion of new characters and the expansion of other's roles made for a very enjoyable continuation of a wonderful series.
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on 26 December 2013
Modesitt a classic author who I first read in the 10 years ago and I am still reading today on Kindle. deep involving fast and complicated stories that captivate you forever
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