This is exactly the type of book that sucks me in and doesn't let go. I didn't feel the same way about every book in the series, but this book really did it for me. Maerad is a slave living in obscurity in a remote mountain fort. Her life is miserable, but as long as she has the harp her mother left her and her memories, she'll survive. One day, however, she spots a hidden stranger in the stronghold and when she confronts him, he realizes that she is able to see through his magical shield. After viewing her harp, he knows there is something different about her, she has a powerful magic herself that he can sense...thus begins one of the most interesting fantasy adventures I've read in a quite a while.I loved Maered's character, I loved the storyline, I loved the world. Excellent work. Not much to say other than that.