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Memory of Fire    by Holly Lisle order for
Memory of Fire
by Holly Lisle
Order:  USA  Can
Eos, 2002 (2002)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Holly Lisle has set her latest fantasy adventure series, The World Gates, in a universe whose worlds are sequenced together, each having an upworld and a downworld. When gates are opened between them, those who transfer downworld have godlike powers there, but exploiting them can have dire consequences, along the lines of contagious magic, in the original world. (There are also parallel 'sideways' worlds but they don't have much bearing on this episode.)

The first of this series is a tale of two heroines. Molly McColl is kidnapped from her bed and dragged downworld to Oria, where she is welcomed as the long awaited Vodi. Lauren Dane is a widow with a small child, who comes to the attention of Sentinels on Earth, when she reveals her talents as a gateweaver. She gradually recovers the memories that her murdered parents blocked, for her protection, during her childhood.

Earth Sentinels have taken oaths to protect their world from the impact of magical events in Oria, and suspect Lauren's implication in those causing a devastating 'flu pandemic. There are regular betrayals, plenty of action, and romance that spans space and time. Though Memory of Fire is not one of the greats of the genre, it serves solid entertainment with strong female leads.

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