by Judith Tarr
Category: Fiction / Historical
464 pages; ISBN: 0451458966
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
In 1192 on an Earth much like our own in most respects, Richard I is leading the third crusade to take the Holy Lands. His Majesty expects the battle to be fought on the mortal plane. However, he doesn’t know that his mother, Queen Eleanor, a dark sorceress in her own right, has made a pact with Sinan, beloved of Ibris and all the other dark Gods that have ever lived. The Lionheart will win the war and take Jerusalem but the price will be very high.
Sioned, Richard’s illegitimate half-sister is traveling with him on the campaign. She has the sight and power of magic that she will learn how to use from Ahmad, Saladin’s half-brother who also possesses the talent. Enemies and lovers, the pair fights the powers of darkness that surround them, hoping that Richard will be able to fight off Sinan’s power with the Seal of Solomon that Sioned stole from the enemy.
Harry Turtledove is well known for his alternate history novels but Judith Tarr, is his equal in every respect. On a world that never was but could have been, magic play a key role in the affairs of mankind with one woman’s burning ambition capable of destroying an empire. DEVIL’S BARGAIN is a masterpiece of intrigue, sorcery and romance.
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