THE DRAGON CHARMER
In this highly imaginative and darkly charming adult fantasy, the sequel to 2000's Prospero's Children, some dozen years have elapsed since the horrifying events of the earlier novel. Fernanda Capel, now a young woman, is vainly attempting to leave the Gift behind and abandon her heritage of witchcraft. In pursuit of a normal life, she even accepts a marriage proposal from a man she doesn't love. But the supernatural keeps intruding with signs and portents she chooses to ignore. Then the night before her wedding, while driving home from an impromptu bachelorette party, Fern falls into a mysterious coma. She winds up in hospital, but her soul finds itself imprisoned in the roots of a tree in purgatory, where Fern takes the opportunity to learn some strange secrets from her captors. Once soul and body are reunited, she must go to the rescue of her sober, level-headed best friend, Gaynor Mobberly, as well as prevent an ancient terror from being released into the real world. British author Siegel neatly weaves the supernatural into the ordinary, while her supporting characters are a delight: Ragginbone, a centuries-old wizard who appears to be a derelict; invisible Bodachin, a Scottish house goblin; and Moonspittle, who demonstrates what goes on in those curio shops that are never open. Those who like an entertaining escape from reality should be pleased. (July 3)
Forecast:With a five-city author tour and author appearances at major SF conventions this summer, plus a sample chapter included in the mass-market edition of Prospero's Children (June), this title should make a run up genre bestseller lists.