|Submitted by Harriet Klausner |
(Aug 26, 2005)
Roc, Oct 2005, $16.00, 384 pp.
When the Saxons converted to Christianity, the Old Magic of Britain that kept it alive started dying. When the Norman conquerors came, Britain for a time began to heal because William and his wife followed the Old Ways. When Mathilda died, William turned his back on magic and with his death, a king sits on the throne who can see but wants nothing to do with magic.
The darkness is spreading again and the magic is dying out. The guardians are short one number because a priest denies the Old Ways and follows Christianity. The princess of Scotland, Edith, and Prince Henry, the English king’s brother, are filled with and accept the magic that is a part of them. With England under siege from all sides the time is coming for a great sacrifice that if not made will cause Britain to suffer the same fate as Atlantis.
Judith Tarr weaves a web of historical facts and imbues them with a touch of enchantment so that a pivotal event in history is made possible by sorcery. This glimpse into a past that once existed comes about because many minor magical rites and especially one major one cause the essential moment that magic made history. This romantic fantasy is full of action, otherworldly creatures and the need for the champions to prove brave and victorious otherwise Britain will be destroyed.