cover image Land of the Silver Dragon: 
An Aelf Fen Mystery

Land of the Silver Dragon: An Aelf Fen Mystery

Alys Clare. Severn, $28.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8276-9

Clare’s fifth paranormal mystery featuring 11th-century apprentice healer Lassair (after 2011’s The Way Between the Worlds) gets off to a fast start with a “red-bearded giant” bursting into the home of Utta, mother-in-law of Lassair’s sister Goda, and smashing in Utta’s skull. The intruder also injures Goda. Later, someone, presumably the same man, breaks into the abbey where another sister of Lassair lives, the nun Elfritha, and ransacks the dormitory before turning his attention to Lassair’s own home in Aelf Fen, a town in East Anglia. Lassair is at a loss as to what the stranger could be looking for, and her search for answers ends up taking her to Iceland. But the narrative doesn’t sustain the tension created by the rapid-fire acts of terror that kick things off, and the inevitable deceleration makes this a less engaging entry than its predecessor. (Sept.)