by Karen McCullough
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
191 pages; ISBN: 0975965301
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
ImaJinn, 2004, $13.75, 191 pp.
Her village is in trouble from hostile neighbors so Alsa, who has elementary wizardry skills, decides she must save her town. However, though she has latent talent she has no training to focus her flair. Alsa knows her only hope for mentoring comes from the nearby wizard, who lives in a castle on the top of a mountain across a bridge of light particles guarded by a dragon.
Frightened by the rumors she has heard of the hermit wizard, Alsa crosses the bridge and meets face to face the dragon, who sends her onto the castle following her explanation. Inside the castle she meets her host who wears a mask to hide what Alsa assumes is his hideous face from her. The wizard listens to her plea without displaying any emotion. Instead he offers to train her if she bears his child. She agrees. As she learns how to use her talent under the tutelage of a difficult harsh instructor, Alsa falls in love with her teacher and the other castle minion, but believes she will be sent home once she gives birth because though she knows her wizard cares he hides his feelings from himself.
WIZARD’S BRIDGE is a beautiful retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast story enhanced by fantasy elements. The lead couple is a delight as both will soon learn that they received much more than their original deal’s considerations. The action starts right away when the “Little Mortal” meets the dragon and never slows down until Alsa finally learns the first rule of wizardry on what ingredient casts the most powerful spells. Adult fairy tale fans will want to read this delightful romantic fantasy.
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