Out on the long road, dark dweomer assassins stalk Jill and Rhodry. Their orders are to kill Jill and take Rhodry to Bardek, but when Rhodry takes a hire in a Cerrgonney feud he and Jill become separated. Far from Nevyn’s aid, the lovers are tangled in a web of lies as the dark dweomer closes in on its prey…

500 years ago, Nevyn made a mistake that ruined many lives – and the Gods accepted his oath to set it right. With war threatening Deverry’s western border, the souls of those he wronged will gather once more. Will he finally untangle the knot that binds them? Or will their wayward hearts lead them further from the Light? Join us for a classic fantasy read-along of magic, fate and epic swordscraft.

Book cover: Polar City Blues - Katharine Kerr (a space port in shades of misty blue)When a Confederation diplomat shows up dead in Polar City, police chief Al Bates must race against the clock to solve the crime if he is to avoid 3 governments landing troops to ‘keep the peace’. Only Bobbie Lacey, ex-spacer, comp jockey and trader in information has access to all the sources to start putting the pieces together. But will a ghetto girl work with the cops?

The short version: some good character work (especially on the lead women), clear definition of 4 cultures on an alien world (1 alien) including different takes on gender and sexuality, and interesting ideas (cultural isolation, culture exchange, managing the impact of high tech on low tech society, and re-casting science as magic). On the down side, it's flabby, I couldn't help but feel it was lazy in the world-building, and it's overly simplistic in its conclusions. Ultimately entertaining but not stellar.

For those who can bear it: