This is the third book in the Seven Circles Series. Ston, Ivy, and Uncle find themselves in the Fifth Circle, Uncle's original home, where the inhabitants feel that honor and the keeping of oaths is all-important. At least, most of them do. Ston is treacherously betrayed after joining the Areon, a military organization of "lifter" that is responsible for enforcing law and order.
Likewise, to try to conceal her origins, Ivy is placed with the Aurel, a similar group for women, and attempts are made on her life. Uncle, formerly the Commander of the Areon, is deceived into thinking that all is well. He must call upon all of his old skills, with the help of his old friend and one-time student, Sta. Ston reveals a great secret concerning his relationship with Ivy, and in turn learns a lesson in responsibility when unknown facts about his heritage are disclosed to him.
The story is set against a backdrop of prejudices, both ancient and modern, in a world of unfamiliar cultures and customs. Despite that, they find much that is good and noble to appreciate.
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Bringing it "Full Circle"
Another excellent addition to our character's journey through the realms. The author does a fabulous job of creating new and distinct settings in each of the circles that have their own feel, different from those before. I find each new world more fascinating than the last and enjoy the character's journey through them as they build their (and my) understanding of all the moving parts of each place they visit. This book has all the hallmarks of an epic adventure and begins to create the feeling that this saga extends far back into the worlds history (and herstory) and our characters are having a major impact on the worlds future.
This book reminds me of Card's Homecoming Saga as well as the Myst series of my childhood.
Ivy is still my favorite, as a strong, intelligent person, she seems to be the key in every story and leads the rest of our characters in the "right" direction without fail.
Uncle, however, gets more interesting in each novel. His character development is interesting and sometimes seems more pronounced than his younger counterparts.
There is a moment when a main character has to make a choice between doing the right thing, and potentially saving the rest. He makes the moral choice, knowing his family will back him up.
When is the next one to be released?!