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Sorceress of Faith    by Robin D. Owens order for
Sorceress of Faith
by Robin D. Owens
Order:  USA  Can
Luna, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

In Owens' Guardian of Honor, readers were introduced to Alexa Fitzwalter who, with the aid of a magical portal, was summoned to the world of Lladrana. This standalone sequel, Sorceress of Faith, focuses on the adventures of Marian Harasta, a scholar also uprooted from Earth and transported to Llandrana to fight an evil greater than she can possibly imagine.

Marian has always been interested in the occult, but she's chosen instead to devote her time and considerable intellect to pursuits of a more scholarly sort. When she begins to have incredibly vivid dreams, books start toppling from her shelf and she actually summons a New Age forecaster telepathically, she knows it's time to start listening to what the Universe is trying to tell her. But what begins as a harmless ritual in her living room ends up propelling Marian across a threshold into a magical world, where she learns she's expected to rid the land of a terrifying evil force.

What follows is a race against time as Marian attempts to learn everything she can about controlling her magical abilities. With the help of her hamster Tuck, her mentor Bossgond, and her lover Jaquar, Marian begins to adjust to her new surroundings. But she knows that despite the freedom she feels and the excitement that comes with her ability to control the elements, she can't stay here. Her brother Andrew suffers from advanced Multiple Sclerosis back on Earth, and she can't leave him behind. Torn between a past filled with responsibility and an uncertain future, Marian must make the most important choice of her life. But will her choice save Andrew, or doom them all?

Owens manages to pack a lot of fantasy elements into Sorceress of Faith, with solid results. Magical creatures ranging from a flying Pegasus to a sentient hamster add touches of whimsy to a story that's ultimately about the ongoing battle between good and evil. The attraction between Marian and Jaquar is never subtle. It hits both the characters and the reader with full force from the very beginning, and over time develops into something deeper than lust. Unfortunately, the major conflict that threatens to tear them apart feels forced and ultimately frustrating, taking away from the believable romance aspect.

Overall, Sorceress of Faith offers a heartwarming story filled with sweet characters and interesting developments. Though the book at times feels a little drawn out, especially as Marian learns all about Llandrana and her abilities, and the storyline isn't especially unique, the ending is satisfying. Fans of epic fantasy should find a pleasant read in the latest installment of Owens' Summoning series.

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