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The Barbed Rose    by Gail Dayton order for
Barbed Rose
by Gail Dayton
Order:  USA  Can
Luna, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

Desperate to come to the aid of those who need her Godmarked powers, Kallista Varyl leaves part of her beloved family behind and races to the city of Arikon. She's been ordered there by the Reinine herself, the ruler of the entire Kingdom of Adara. When she arrives, Kallista learns that the threat to her world is far from over. Those with magical abilities have been targeted, and many have already been assassinated. Demons walk the lands again, and their numbers are increasing.

Separated from those she loves, Kallista embarks on a quest more dangerous than any she's faced to date. Along the way, with the help of new allies and old friends, she must face demons both of her own making and of the magical variety. But can she find and destroy the threat to Adara before she loses everything she holds dear?

A year after the release of her first book in the One Rose series, The Compass Rose, Dayton springs a powerful, breathtaking novel on eager fans. New characters and old favorites are as deeply sympathetic as always, and their adventures take on a heightened level of excitement as they once again battle demons to save their world.

Dayton is a fantasy storytelling master. She imbues her prose with wonderful sensuality, elaborate details and captivating emotional depth. What fascinates me most when reading a One Rose book is the way she's able to sprinkle so many characters on her pages, yet has no trouble keeping them separate in the reader's mind. Torchay is as different from Obed as night and day. Viyelle has her own set of complexities and familial baggage to deal with, and no one would confuse her with either Aisse or Kallista. Even Fox and Stone, who are the most alike, have distinct personalities, manners and speech patterns. Each character is so clearly defined, I felt I knew them all intimately by the time I turned the last page.

For an intricately plotted, beautifully written romantic fantasy, look no further than The Barbed Rose. I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment.

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