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The Witch Queen    by Jan Siegel order for
Witch Queen
by Jan Siegel
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Wesley Williamson

The Witch Queen is the final volume in the trilogy beginning with the superlative Prospero's Children, and continuing with The Dragon Charmer. In Prospero's Children, Fernanda Capel discovered her gift, opposed the powerful and evil Azmordis, and returned to ancient Atlantis. There she found her true love, and then lost him to the ocean where his polished bones have lain ever since.

In The Dragon Charmer, Azmordis laid plans to wreak vengeance on Fern, who foiled him. However, she was threatened more immediately by Morgus, half-sister to the king in Camelot. Morgus was trapped in the Otherworld with a tree that bore strange fruit. She imprisoned Fern there also, but Fern escaped with the help of Kal (Morgus' monstrous son) and last viewed Morgus dead and sinking in the waters of Lethe.

As this final episode begins, Morgus is not dead. She has been rejuvenated and made invulnerable. She now has two aims; to wreak vengeance on Fern and become the ruler of Logres (modern England). Fern has come into her full power, but she cannot stand directly against the magic of Morgus, who has brought the Tree with her. Fern needs to call on the help of all her old friends - Gaynor, her brother Will, Ragginbone, Lougarry and Bradachin - along with a new ally, the Queen of the Goblins.

Fern also makes a new friend, Luc, who may become something more. There are signs which seem to link him to her long-dead first love, but she is not sure. Knowing that even if she can defeat Morgus, she and all her friends will be vulnerable to Azmordis, Fern fears the price she must pay to keep them safe.

The plot is somewhat slow to develop but as it unfolds, all the threads come together in a very powerful close. Though the first volume's fresh enchantments charmed us, Fern had to grow, develop and change. Looking at the series as a whole, the author has succeeded admirably in telling her story. I look forward with great interest to her next.

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