cover image The Mystic Marriage

The Mystic Marriage

Heather Rose Jones. Bella, $16.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-59493-441-4

When Antuniet Chazillen’s brother is convicted of treason, she loses everything but her name and her greatest treasure—an ancient and rare alchemical tome. For years she struggles, starves, and tutors her way through a fictionalized version of late-Renaissance Europe, always barely a step ahead of the dangerous people sent to steal the book. Finally out of options, Antuniet returns home to the small kingdom of Alpennia, where she is forced to navigate a confusing tangle of friends, allies, and distant relations as she works to create an alchemical gift worthy of royalty, to restore her family’s good name. She’s frequently distracted by the dance of seduction with Jeanne, a noblewoman in the Alpennian court. Her story easily captures the reader’s interest, but nearly equal time is given to the characters from Daughter of Mystery, the first book in the series, and their own ongoing dramas bog down Antuniet’s tale, drawing attention away from the courageous young woman and toward the politics that only intersect tangentially with her own story. (May)