4.5 rated by 12
Grade 7-10-In this final installment in the series, Daine and her mentor, Numair, are about to be killed when Daine's parents, both of whom are minor gods, sweep the pair up into their domain. Their lives are saved, but both Daine and Numair desperately want to return to mortal regions to help their country, Tortall, fight against the deadly foes introduced in the earlier volumes. The only way for them to do so is to seek the help of dragons, who owe Daine a favor for raising one of their young. Although the young woman is able to shape-shift and communicate with animals, and Numair is a powerful magician, the journey to the Dragonlands is fraught with dangers. Along the way, they discover unlooked-for allies and their love for one another. Arriving in Tortall at last, Daine faces her bitter enemy, Ozorne, with whom she struggled in Emperor Mage (Atheneum, 1995). A bloody battle wraps up both the series' earthly struggle and the divine battle at its root between the evil Queen of Chaos and the other immortals. Daine, now 16, can look forward to a normal existence, at last. She is an ideal heroine-adventurous, intelligent, and gifted with magical powers, yet down-to-earth and kind to anyone who is not an open enemy. Some of the animal characters are a little precious, especially the young dragons. However, the dream sequences, in which Daine is able to see what's going on in mortal lands, are intriguing. Fans of the earlier titles will appreciate this satisfying conclusion.
Mary Jo Drungil, Niles Public Library District, IL