The Spirit Ring by Lois McMaster Bujold

In a magical version of Renaissance Italy, the daughter of a sculptor/mage finds herself embroiled in a deadly political dispute as she struggles to free her father’s soul, which a wicked lord wants to imprison in a magic ring.

Lois McMaster Bujold crafts a suspenseful tale of intrigue, sorcery, and politics that really satisfied me. The Spirit Ring is grounded in the kinds of real squabblings that mark territorial disputes, and the magic serves that story, rather than being the sole purpose of the story. It’s also a love story, and quite an unconventionally romantic one. I definitely prefer McMaster’s fantasy to her scifi, and this is now one of my favorites of hers.

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