by Carey, Jacqueline

Trained as an elite warrior before learning a profound truth about his identity, Khai navigates the deadly intrigues of court before embarking on a quest to save his soul's twin. By the best-selling author of the Kushiel's Legacy series.

JACQUELINE CAREY is the author of the New York Times bestselling Kushiel's Legacy series of historical fantasy novels, The Sundering epic fantasy duology, postmodern fables "Santa Olivia" and "Saints Astray," and the Agent of Hel contemporary fantasy series. Carey lives in western Michigan.

*Starred Review* In what may well be the epic fantasy of the year, Carey (Miranda and Caliban, 2017) builds a rich and varied world with scores of countries, all shaped by the various living gods who have been cast out of the sky, leaving the world starless but with multiple moons. Khai was born at exactly the same time, during a rare lunar eclipse, as Zariya, the youngest daughter of the king of Zarkhoum, where royalty are almost immortal. Named to be Zariya's shadow and never knowing his parents, Khai was raised in the Fortress of the Winds, where warriors train. He develops unusual skills before he goes to the palace to be Zariya's protector shortly before their sixteenth birthday. The Scattered Prophecy then brings Khai and Zariya together with a diverse corps of individuals of many races, including tentacled sea dwellers and intelligent giant sea wyrms. Their journey through killer vegetation, across an ocean, and into a volcano is filled with action and adventure. Carey is at the peak of her luminous storytelling powers in a tale that will appeal to readers of Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss, while its thought-provoking look at gender, love, and sexual preference bring to mind Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness (1969). Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Carey (Miranda and Caliban, 2017, etc.) returns to doorstopper-land with this stand-alone heroic fantasy set in a world whose sky is empty of stars. It wasn't always that way. Long ago, the stars grew quarrelsome and rebellious, until Zar the Sun, exasperated, booted them from the heavens to dwell on the Earth as gods—not too bad an exile, seemingly. The rulers of the desert kingdom of Zarkhoum, King Azarkal and his too-numerous, scheming, treacherous family, owe their extended lives to the effect of rhamanthus seeds. However, the goddess Anamuht the Purging Fire hasn't quickened any for many years, and soon they will run out. Khai, born at the same time as Azarkal's youngest daughter, princess Zariya, is her shadow, a sort of predestined soul mate, trained in the deep desert by a warrior sect to serve and protect her by any means necessary—yet there is one astounding truth he has not been told. In order for the next crop of rhamanthus seeds to be quickened, so it is foretold, Zariya must wed a foreigner. Meanwhile, a dark god, Miasmus, is stirring. These are some of the elements of a prediction, collectively known as the Scattered Prophesy, according to which, following the usual apocalyptic struggles involving the main characters, the gods will be restored to the sky. On ample display here are Carey's impressive worldbuilding skills and deft articulation of all the moving parts. Along the way she detonates one massive bombshell of a revelation and provokes frequent raised eyebrows. But the characters owe more to heroic formula than real personality, and once the plot's fully revealed it slides along on rails right down to the Tolkien-esque ending; despite the glowing details, there's never a doubt where it's all going. A hardworking middle-of-the-roader with limited appeal beyond existing Carey addicts. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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