Scottish Magic: Four Spellbinding Tales of Magic and Timeless Love

Stobie Piel, Author, Hannah Howell, Joint Author, Elizabeth Ann Michaels, Joint Author Kensington Publishing Corporation $21.95 (280p) ISBN 978-1-57566-182-7
These four sequential fairy tales, connected by setting, family and theme and written by four popular romance writers, are interesting as a study in interconnection and stylistic contrast. Piel's tale--the first and most pivotal--is the best of the lot. Set in A.D. 850, it concerns the faerie Lily, one of the ""unseelies""--the dark sisters of Titania's ""light"" band--who finds herself in love with Duncan MacLachlan, the son of the Scottish laird of Loch Fyne. Lily's striking voice makes this story a charmer. Duncan's brother, Struan, in a to-be-continued twist, meets a strange fate in the feud waged against Titania by the unseelie queen Nathara and must risk his soul every 100 years to save his beloved. Continuing with Lily and Duncan's descendants, Howell's installment is more earthy, with an oddly modern sensibility, and scores with atmospherically effective Scots dialogue. Isbel of the MacLachians finds her faerie-fated mate in 1362 and struggles to capture his heart before he's overwhelmed by her powers. The fate-and-psychic gifts motif continues in Michael's cloying and simplistic entry, as another of Lily's beneficiaries, the silver-blue-eyed Krista, finds her war-traumatized man in a firestorm of undeniable spiritual and physical desire in 1818. The story cycle is rounded out in 1850 in Kaye's contribution, in which Struan gets his last chance to rescue the soul of his love, Laren Campbell. The weakest of the four is this last, which leaves much unresolved. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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