Magic and Desire

Portia Da Costa, Janine Ashbless, and Olivia Knight. Black Lace, $14.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-352-34784-8
In this mostly satisfying collection, three authors find pleasure in magical worlds of peril and passion. The best is Ashbless’s “The House of Dust,” set within the mysteries and grandeur of Sumerian civilization. Lady Ishandra, priestess of Inanna, is privy to secrets that could destroy her beloved society. Cloaked in the power of her goddess, she sets out to restore justice. Ashbless brings the setting to glittering life and imbues the characters with power and love fit for any epic adventure. Knight’s “The Dragon Lord” is set in a somewhat conventional fantasy world made fresh by the heroine’s power and self-determination. Princess Nina sets out to claim truth and honor for herself and fend off an ancient danger. Charmingly, the princess takes the role of hero, while love interest Lord Drake is pent up far from the action and frustrated by his helplessness. In contrast, Da Costa’s “Ill Met by Moonlight” brings fey magic into our modern world, but the story unfortunately drags. Lois is an unkempt, humorless woman with only her loneliness to recommend her to potential partners. Robin of the Fey is drawn to her side mostly due to a lack of other options. Without the lively sparkle of an inventive plot, this story is a dull one, but the others offer many delights to satisfy the romantic fantasy reader. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2016
Release date: 12/01/2015
Genre: Fiction
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