by C.E. Murphy
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
324 pages; ISBN: 0373802234
Rating: 10/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Luna, June 2005, $13.95, 324 pp.
As the plane lands, passenger Joanne Walkingstick sees a man with a knife, a pack of dogs and a woman running. Joanne grabs a taxi to head to the spot where she saw the crime take place. She finds Maria D’Ambra who tells her she was being chased by Cernunnos a Celtic god and leader of the Wild Hunt. She is a banshee who can tell when someone is about to die making her invaluable to the Wild Hunt who collects the souls of the dead.
The metaphysical is not in Joanna’s world view until Cernunnos runs her through with a sword and while near death her spirit guide Coyote tells her how to heal herself. She also learns she is a shaman with the power to heal. When she goes to talk with Maria, she finds her murdered in the same way five other shamans were killed in recent weeks. Not much later, the killer attacks schoolchildren in their classroom murdering some and injuring the teacher. He is Herne a demigod who was once mortal and has his own plans for the world and the Hunt. Unless Joanne can grow into her powers to send Cernunnos and Herne back to where they belong Earth is doomed.
The relationship between Cernunnos and Herne is familial but there is an enmity that exists between them because of their different goals with mortals caught in their cross fire. Joanne accepts the metaphysical work and her shamanic powers a bit too easily but she has the strength and determination to use them in order to fight the two gods. C.E. Murphy has written a spellbinding and enthralling urban fantasy in the tradition of Tanya Huff and Mercedes Lackey.
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