Sorcery in Alpara (Tesha Series)

Written by Judith Starkston
Review by Linnea Tanner

Sorcery in Alpara is the second book in the Tesha series, a historical fantasy loosely based on 13th-century BC Bronze Age Hittites and Egyptians. The story continues the epic journey of the young sorceress Tesha shortly after she marries King Hattu and returns to his capital, Alpara, where she will be crowned as his queen. Their entourage is attacked, and Tesha’s blind sister and the king’s commander are kidnapped by rival tribesmen, the Paskan. When Hattu tries to save them, a Pascan sorcerer casts a curse that shrouds him and his warriors in a dark cloud, disabling them. Summoning the powers of Ishana, Tesha draws the curse out of Hattu’s warriors, but at a cost to her vitality. When they finally arrive safely at the capital, traitors within Hattu’s inner circle conspire with the Paskan enemy to destroy him and malign his young queen. Threatened with loss of her marriage, Tesha must again call on the powers of Ishana to save herself and Hattu from the political machinations churning within and outside their kingdom.

Author Judith Starkston masterfully weaves fantastical elements of sorcery into the historical tapestry of Bronze Age Hittites and Egyptians. Primarily told from the points of view of Tesha, her sister, and Hattu, the narrative is taut and plot-driven with political conspiracies lurking in the shadows. The fantastical elements of curses, shapeshifting, telepathy, mythological creatures, and magical potions enhance the mystique of legendary ancient cultures steeped in superstitions.

Both historical fiction and epic fantasy readers should enjoy Sorcery in Alpara—a riveting story packed with romance, sorcery, betrayal, and political intrigue.