Mistress of the Topaz is a fantasy novel by Betty Cross. At the beginning of the novel, Promono-Dei is crowned World-Queen. She decides she wants to avenge her father by going to war and defeat Nobalos’ allies, one by one. But she confronts a more dangerous coalition that includes Nobalos’ powerful but wavering ally, Âryoso-Rûn, King of Roude-Kî. But even before Âryoso-Rûn’s army can arrive, her soldiers have already been back by Nobalos’ other forces. While Kordo-Strî’, a council member of Nobalos works to get others with the power of her mind to do what she feels is good for her in the long run, her husband has invented Malga’s first steam-powered warship for the Nobalon Navy. Will Promono-Dei and her forces (that includes her lover) be able to topple Nobalos before the first steam-powered ship sails, or will she have trouble of betrayal from one of her allies?
Amidst medieval warring, religions and myths, Ms. Cross brings to life a high fantasy novel. Though fairies and dwarves don’t inhabit this like a Tolkien work, it is closer to something that George RR Martin mixed with Dune might end up when a dash of the Arabian Nights are thrown in.
Not too bad, I didn’t rate it five dragons, but four, due a few details. I do look forward to the sequel by Ms. Cross.