By Courtney Schafer
Night Shade Books, 14.99, 378 pages

Dev is a sought-after guide for caravans who need to cross the dangerous Whitefire Mountains in order to get to Alathia to trade. He is also known in shadier circles as a person who is successful at smuggling illegal goods the same way – no questions asked. Desperate for money after a split with his partner, Dev agrees to take an unusual cargo this time: Kiran, a mage running from a powerful enemy. As they travel, more secrets are revealed and Dev finds himself caught in the middle of a political battle that may end his life.

The Whitefire Crossing is the first novel in a new series by author Courtney Schafer. Mixing an outdoor adventure-thriller with fantasy, she successfully blends the two genres. She also has some nice complex characters, particularly in the case of Dev, who is written as smart, determined and fiercely loyal. The growth of trust and relationship between Dev and Kiran is well-written. Fans of adventure and fantasy will enjoy this new book.

Reviewed by Barbara Cothern