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Servant Mage    by Kate Elliott order for
Servant Mage
by Kate Elliott
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I'm a long time fan of Kate Elliott's extraordinary and varied fantasy/SF series, including Jaran, Crown of Stars, Crossroads, Spiritwalker, Court of Fives, and The Sun Chronicle. So I opened this new fantasy, Servant Mage, with anticipation.

As the story opens, its heroine, Fellian, is in dire circumstances. As a Lamplighter, a mage who can use magic to make light, she has been forced into indentured servitude doing menial tasks. On the sly, she teaches reading and writing, forbidden to the unlicensed.

She's stolen from that servitude by rebel Monarchists (all with their own unique talents), who need a Lamplighter to help rescue their fellows from an underground mine complex. In return, she's promised her freedom, identity papers, and money.

On the way, they learn of a more urgent situation - the birth of a five-souled baby who's about to be killed. They save the babe as well as Fellian's childhood friend Ervia, are pursued through demonland to a Monarchist refuge, and finally head out on their original mission.

As this episode ends, Fellian is asked to join the movement, but chooses to follow her own road, find her remaining family, and fight for what she believes in.

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