Advance review for Booklist
The Sainnites and the Shaftal have been enemies for ages, but when Karis was declared G'deon, it became her responsibility to find a way to bring peace to the divided land, which she has, tentatively. The two peoples share land and work, but old hatreds smolder. And then a would-be assassin tries to kill Karis, and things get crazy. Clement, general of Karis' army, faces off with old friend but now rival general Heras over control of five mutinied garrisons now under Heras. [Three spoilers deleted.] How gifts from the past, often unknown or unacknowledged, bless future generations; how things that look like disasters or mistakes may be parts of a much bigger pattern that produces greater, farther-reaching good results – such is the theme of Marks' sweeping fantasy, which reaches its third volume with this successor to Fire Logic (2002) and Earth Logic (2004). (Review by Paula Luedtke)
Advance review by Publisher's Weekly
Picking up the threads left loose at the end of Earth Logic (2004), Marks's third Elemental Logic tale weaves three story lines through her tapestry of a war-torn world whose elemental forces are dangerously out of balance. Clement, reluctant general of the Sainnite army occupying Shaftal, has made peace with Karis, the Shaftali G'deon, and now seeks to suppress insurrection in her ranks and legitimize the leadership role thrust upon her. Meanwhile, Clement's lover Seth pursues an assassin who nearly murdered Karis. In the story's most fantastic subplot, fire witch Zanja na'Tarwein [spoiler deleted]. Marks plays the fantasy of her unfolding epic more subtly here than in previous volumes, and the resulting depiction of intransigent cultures in conflict, rich with insight into human nature and motives, will resonate for modern readers.
Advance review by Ellen Kushner
This is a genuinely original and subversive work of fantasy literature. It's the real thing: capable of changing the world, or at least the way you see it. Grittier and ultimately more satisfying than Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels, but with some of the same delicious sense of a world with plenty of room for queerness . . . there's the depth and mythic sweep of Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea novels, with a seasoned, mature sense of a world where adults make hard choices and live with them.
Marks's characters are real people who breathe and sleep and sweat and love; the food has flavor and the landscape can break your heart. You don't find this often in any contemporary fiction, much less in fantasy: a world you can plunge yourself into utterly and live in with great delight, while the pages turn, and dream of after.