cover image By Possession

By Possession

Madeline Hunter. Bantam Books, $7.99 (400pp) ISBN 978-0-553-58221-5

Earlier this year, Hunter excited romance readers with the release of her first novel, the medieval By Arrangement. With the release of this new volume, she cements her position as one of the brightest new writers in the genre. Brimming with intelligent writing, historical detail and passionate, complex protagonists, this novel follows Addis de Valence, a Crusading knight who returns, seemingly from the dead, to reclaim the heritage he had lost to a scheming half-brother and the whims of a greedy king. Caught up in his struggle is Moira Falkner, a young, serf-born woman who knows that loving the scarred Addis will lead to nothing but misery. But Addis knows he cannot live without Moira and that he is only at peace with her in his life. Yet, if Addis regains his position, Moira would have to live in the shadows, as her mother did, and she finds this unacceptable. Hunter makes 14th-century England come aliveDfrom the details of its sights, sounds and smells to the political context of this rebellious and dangerous time, when alliances and treason went hand in hand. For all the historical richness of the story, the romantic aspect is never lost, and the poignancy of the characters' seemingly untenable love is truly touching. (Sept)