cover image Immortal Muse

Immortal Muse

Stephen Leigh. DAW, $24.95 (544p) ISBN 978-0-7564-0956-2

In this centuries-spanning historical fantasy, Leigh (Assassin’s Dawn) spins an epic tale of love and hate. It starts with French alchemist Nicolas Flamel, and his wife, Perenelle, in 1352. When Perenelle develops an elixir that bestows immortality, they find themselves unable to die. Her eternal existence is fueled by the symbiotic relationships she forms with creative types as their muse; Nicolas is driven by the need to inflict suffering and death. She wants to survive. He wants to torment her. As their paths cross time and again across numerous lifetimes, Perenelle is forced to constantly reinvent herself and take on new friends and lovers. When they meet again in modern New York City, it seems as though their war may finally be over. Leigh seamlessly inserts his two immortals into history, playing with actual people and events to deliver beautifully-rendered glimpses of different eras. Leigh strikes the perfect balance between past and present, real and imagined. (Mar.)