Laurie J. Marks
“The war between the Sainnites and the Shaftali has ended with a Sainnite victory and a gesture of peace and reconstruction. As Sainnite General Clement renews her relationship with Shaftali cow doctor Seth, now a Councilor from her village, forces are working to undermine the peace and end the life of Karis, the new Shaftali G’deon, the woman who agreed to peace with her country’s enemies. When an earth-blooded prophet gets lost beneath the ice and is transported to another time, she finds that she holds the key to solving the problems of the “future,” if she can only discover a means of communicating through time. The third installment, after Fire Logic and Earth Logic, in Marks’s “Elemental Logic” series, explores the relationship of water, an element that travels through space and time, to those people who share its qualities or who oppose its power. Finely drawn characters and a lack of bias toward sexual orientation make this a thoughtful, challenging read that belongs in most adult fantasy collections.”
— Library Journal
“Frankly, it’s mind-bending stuff, and refreshing…. I haven’t read the previous two Logic books by Marks so this was like a flashback to my childhood. Interestingly, while there was some character history that I missed, from what I’ve seen of Marks’ writing style, I didn’t necessarily miss much explanation anyways. The world is presented as-is, and of course all the people in it know what is going on and why. I found the book quite intriguing, since Marks does have some unusual magic going on, and there’s certainly no overkill in the infodump department.”
—James Schellenberg, The Cultural Gutter
* “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).”
—Booklist (Starred Review)
“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.”
“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.