[These notes were made in 1990:]. The sequel to The Door into Fire, this one didn't hold my attention nearly as well, for some reason. I think probably one main reason is a fault of mine as a reader, not of Duane as a writer -- namely, that the focus was shifted entirely to the female heroine, Segnbora, away from the male pair who dominated the first book. And somehow I'm just not as interested in lady warriors and their relationships with dragons. In one respect, the shape of this book echoes the earlier one. The central figure goes into an "other" state and encounters an inhibiting ghost from the past. In Segnbora's case, she was raped in her youth, and her access of power arrives when she manages to get past her rage and forgive her rapist. There is a sort of hara-kiri motif at the end, but instead of dying Segnbora, linked to her dragon (who is the equivalent of Sunspark in the first novel), survives and all end happily. Despite her plans to write four novels in this series, Duane seems never to have proceeded past the second one. Perhaps she had simply exhausted the possibilities of her world, which is not a particularly rich one in detail; perhaps she ran out of compelling characters to put in the centre of her tales; or perhaps she just discovered that Star Trek novels sell better. [2010 note: Duane has since completed the series] I must admit that, a few wonderful moments in Fire notwithstanding, I prefer her as a ST novelist.