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Lackey and Mallory are both well-known fantasy authors, but when they work together, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Already having collaborated on the Obsidian Mountain trilogy and the Enduring Flame trilogy, their newest book set in the same world, the first in the Dragon Prophecy trilogy, goes far back in time to detail the life of the legendary elven queen Vieliessar Farcarinon. If you've read the first two trilogies (which isn't required), you know that Vieliessar united the elves and dragons to defeat the Endarkened in the First Endarkened War. Knowing how the story ends is far from knowing how it began, though, as Lackey and Mallory prove here. Its pacing is almost the opposite of their previous books; instead of having to hope that the main characters will prevail, you know that Vieliessar will win in the end, but the entire book is shadowed with a nameless dread as both the reader and Vieliessar know that she will have to sacrifice to succeed and wonder what terrible prices she will have to pay for being a pawn of the gods. Knowing how quickly Vieliessar's fate is coming only makes the book more tense as she struggles to meet a deadline she's not even wholly aware of and the cost of failure is too high. A long but worthwhile read, and look for the next one, The House of the Four Winds.