Fiona McIntosh was raised in the U.K. but left London to explore the world and found herself in Australia, where she fell in love with the country and one person in particular. She has since roamed the planet for her work in the travel industry but now writes full-time and continues to draw inspiration from her travels. McIntosh lives with her husband and teenage sons, splitting her time between city life in South Australia and the wilderness of Tasmania.
McIntosh is a master at drawing readers into her world. The richness and colour of Percheron and its traditions-both barbaric and beautiful-are detailed superbly in her latest novel Emissary, the sequel to bestseller Odalisque. Emissary begins with Odalisque Ana resigning herself to life in the Harem until Kett, the unfortunate boy recruited as a eunuch in Odalisque, plants a seed of hope in her heart. The story moves along at a blistering pace as old favourites-back-from-the-dead Lazar, Zar Boaz, the Valide and the seemingly insane dwarf Pez-contrive to save Percheron from the threat of war, while the Grand Vizier schemes to discover the true identity of arch enemies Iridor and Lyana. McIntosh succeeds in making her audience want more. The cliffhanger ending, in which Lazar must choose between heart and duty is superb. I know I am already anticipating what will happen next. Fans of Fiona McIntosh won't be disappointed with Emissary, and I'd encourage fantasy lovers who haven't read any of this author's work to do so-her books are real page-turners. Sharon Athanasos is a bookseller at Meg's Booksho in Port Pirie