The Silken Shroud
by ElizaBeth Gilligan
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
496 pages; ISBN: 0756401798
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
The Silken Shroud
Daw, April 2004, $6.99, 496 pp.
In 1684 on an alternative earth, religious wars extend over the continent and the Catholic Church does what it can to spread the faith by whatever means possible. Only Tyrrhia welcomes all religions because they are a philosopher state, the only place where the Rom can call home. In return, much of Tyrrhia’s wealth comes from the magic silk which the Rom cultivates and is in much demand all over Europe.
Trouble has come to this peaceful country in the form of Cardinal delle Torre, a fanatical Jesuit, who has formed a secret cabal within the church that hunts witches and kills them in defiance of the law of the white king and queen. He is also responsible for the death of the Romani Princess Alessandra who was Fairy Blessed. He has taken her body to an undisclosed location and uses her essence to cast darker and more powerful spells. Maggiore Mandero di Montago, Alessa’s love and fairy wed husband, is ordered by his king to break the Cardinal’s hold on the people. He also intends to avenge the death of Alessa while following his orders given to him by the king and his council.
ElizaBeth Gilligan is a bright and shining star in the fantasy firmament, an author who creates characters, both real and magical who appeal to readers who like complexity and honor in their heroes. The villain is a fanatic who does vile things to influence the monarchy and make Catholicism the religion of the state in which he is the ruler. Like the prequel MAGIC’S SILKEN SNARE, THE SILKEN SHROUD is a book that deserves to be put on the keeper’s shelf.
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