Strands of Starlight

Gael Baudino, Author Roc $4.5 (384p) ISBN 978-0-451-16371-4
Baudino ( Dragonsword ) sets this engrossing fantasy-adventure in a mythical land that replicates the political and religious tensions of 14th-century Europe. The heroine, Miriam, unwillingly gifted with the power to heal, falls victim to a savage Inquisition that condemns her ability as witchcraft, and to a ruthless nobleman who rapes her after she saves his life. Baudino understands the psychology of the persecuted, astutely motivating the self-immolating rage that consumes Miriam and leads her to undergo a complete, magical physical metamorphosis (she becomes tall, strong and beautiful) so that she can be a scourge for her enemies. Though the plot has its share of exciting sword fights, bold rescues and similar stock-in-tradehyphens ok?-pk/ yes-rl , Baudino focuses on Miriam's interior journey--her spiritual (which accompanies the corporeal) transformation through contact with the uncorrupted Elves, with the pagan priestesses known as witches and with simple Christians. Her tale acquires an elegiac power, mourning the loss of innocent sources of wisdom even as it vividly imagines them. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages - 978-0-451-45316-7
Paperback - 978-0-451-97190-6
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