by M.J. Putney
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
352 pages; ISBN: 0345476891
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Ballantine/Del Rey, Jun 2005, $23.95, 352 pp.
In 1748 England, the Guardian Council Chief Enforcer of the use of magic, Earl Simon Malmain travels to the castle of Lord Drayton to charge him with using his mage skills to abet the Jacobytes. Drayton remains relaxed considering who is unwanted guest is and coolly changes his foe into a unicorn; only a virgin can convert Simon back into a human. The evil magician boasts that having a unicorn will make him the most powerful person ever on the planet. However, Simon escapes from the castle though he remains in his mythological form.
Simon the unicorn meets Drayton’s servant “Mad Meggie”, who is a virgin with a special skill with animals. She frees him from the spell and in turn he liberates her from an enchantment that left her under Drayton’s control. They partner in an effort to stop Drayton, who wants to halt the Industrial Age from replacing the enlightened magical era.
This is a terrific romantic fantasy that uses mid eighteenth century England as a backdrop to anchor the magical elements so that the audience believes in spells, unicorns, and the battle of the mages. The story line is action-packed yet insures the key three characters appear fully developed. The romantic subplot between Meg and Simon accentuate a fabulous tale that will send enchanted readers seeking A KISS OF FATE.
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