Mystic Guardian

Patricia Rice, Author
Patricia Rice, Author . Signet $7.99 (370p) ISBN 978-0-451-22169-8
Reviewed on: 05/07/2007
Release date: 07/01/2007

O n the eve of the French Revolution, the country's commoners are suffering, and one small, starving seacoast village has a final chance for hope: a golden god foreseen by local girl Mariel St. Just's deceased mother. Unfortunately, when Mariel finally spots the golden figure, he's about to set sail. Spunky Mariel, a rather uncommon commoner who can swim underwater like a mermaid, follows his ship to its destination: the secret, magically guarded isle of Aelynn. Despite mutual attraction, the golden man—actually Tristan l'Enforcer, Aelynn's loyal guardian—refuses to help Mariel or her town—so Mariel helps herself, escaping with an old chalice that she sells to buy wheat for her village. Little does she realize that the relic is Aelynn's most powerful sacred artifact, the Chalice of Plenty—and soon Tristan shows up to recover it. As is typical, award-winning author Rice pieces together an intriguing, complex plot, setting the spirited pair against an exiled islander, their growing feelings for each other and two troubled worlds. A fine, fresh series kickoff, Rice's latest is passionate, rich in historical detail and peopled with enough captivating secondary characters to pique readers' curiosity for many volumes to come. (July)

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