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The Truest Power    by Rebecca Neason order for
Truest Power
by Rebecca Neason
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2002 (2002)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Truest Power is a sequel to The Thirteenth Scroll, in which blind healer Lysandra and her wolf companion Cloud Dancer teamed up with magic user Father Renan and Cryf Talog to find the Font of Wisdom of Prophecy, needed to save the kingdom of Aghamore from civil war and worse.

In the first book, the bad guys, sorceress Aurya and Baron Giraldus, were imprisoned in the underground realm of the Cryf. Now they plot escape and revenge. In their absence, their ally Bishop Elon searches for other means, magical and mundane, to achieve his goals. And Lysandra, Renan and Selia (the Font of Wisdom) leave their cozy refuge and travel to the capital, Ballinrigh, where they need to convince Archbishop Colm ApBeirne to crown Selia queen of Aghamore.

In the meantime, the Barons grow ever more restless and civil war is imminent. One of them, Baron Hueil, has allied with a cruel enemy of Aghamore, King Wirral of Corbenica, promising as surety his daughter in marriage to Wirral's son. But Margharite has other plans and loyal friends who help her to execute them. All of these players, good and evil, come together in a conflagration in the cathedral of Ballinrigh, where a ruler is finally chosen for Aghamore.

As the story ends, Lysandra enjoys her herb garden, seizing the precious gift of 'moments of happiness when they come', while knowing that more Darkness lies ahead. It's a safe prediction as this episode ended with the creation of an unholy alliance between enemies of Aghamore. Though its basic storyline is not unusual, I especially like the shadings of philosophy and the essential optimism of this series, and look forward to more.

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