cover image Nest of the Monarch

Nest of the Monarch

Kay Kenyon. Saga, $24.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-5344-2973-4

Kenyon’s riveting third Dark Talents novel (after At the Table of Wolves and Serpent in the Heather) takes 33-year-old psychic spy Kim Tavistock undercover into febrile and menacing Nazi-dominated 1936 Berlin, her first European mission as an agent of British intelligence service SIS. While the British government, concentrating on bond payments, apparently fears the Soviets more than the Nazis, Kim’s father and handler Julian Tavistock hopes that her “spill” talent, which makes people want to tell her things, will provide information about Germany’s suspected new secret weaponry. Kim, ever favoring the underdog, witnesses Nazi anti-Semitic atrocities and decides to help Hannah Linz, a fervent Jewish saboteur. Together they penetrate a Nazi scheme to infiltrate Europe with vampiric augmented psychics. Kenyon successfully builds Kim’s insistence on defying authority on the foundations of her caring heart, her intuition, and her ethical judgment. Kim’s dicey espionage mission thus presents a universal dilemma: the choice between following questionable authority or becoming a rogue moralist. A rich cast of diverse characters and near-catastrophic escapes amid searing prewar tensions keep the pages of this outstanding historical fantasy turning. (Apr.)