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Helen Andros is now, in this second novel of the Green Stone Healing Series, the recognized daughter of Lord James Mordecai. It's a relationship that seems to cause trouble for everyone associated with either character. If that's not enough, Helen continues to create havoc by her frequent verbal comments guaranteed to boomerang into the most excruciating, almost sadistic, punishments. Self-sabotaging tendencies? It seems so far too often with her "foot in mouth" slips.
The political in-fighting that began in The Vision has now entered a new level with the healing of the Exalted Lord, the Toltec King who is now interested in Helen's natural and surgical healing treatment of Lord Matthew and others as well as the upcoming trial of her shamed father, James.
But the hidden yet pivotal conflict centers around who will control the knowledge and use of kura, a type of energy that could both heal and kill. That knowledge presently resides with the Temple priests but Prince Enoch Atlas comes upon a document that makes him imagine the huge political and military power behind this mystical, invisible reality.
Helen over time realizes her green healing stone has something to do with her healing powers but still doesn't grasp its far-ranging capabilities to assist her in utilizing greater spiritual power even beyond her present medical practice. At the moment all she can do is torturously ponder her father's demand that she submit to his military and paternal authority, while he must wrestle with the need to show this long-lost daughter love and acknowledged respect for the healing profession to which she is so fervently attached. Indeed, it's her single claim to dignity. Helen learns more, though, about relationships that will expand her present, confined status.
How will it all end - or begin? Although Fallout has a bit much of unbelievably cruel punishments and recovery scenes, the rest of the story still compels the reader's interest to wonder how the micro and macro conflicts of powerful control versus empathic healing love will be resolved.
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on July 20, 2008