cover image Lamp Black, Wolf Grey

Lamp Black, Wolf Grey

Paula Brackston. St. Martin’s Griffin, $14.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-06968-9

Brackston (The Midnight Witch) shifts across time to tell the stories of two women separated by centuries but linked to the same man. When Londoners Laura and Dan Matthews relocate to a quaint mountain village in Wales, they hope to restore intimacy to their failing marriage. Instead, Laura’s attention is drawn to the local legends surrounding onetime resident Merlin—and to the man she keeps seeing walking through the woods, for whom she feels an overwhelming connection. Eight hundred years earlier, Megan, nursemaid to the village’s malevolent lord, meets Merlin himself in those same woods and the two fall passionately in love. But when the wizard refuses to be complicit in the lord’s warmongering plans, he places Megan in mortal danger, and the reverberations of that decision reach through the ages to touch Laura’s life. Braxton’s characters possess intriguing and ambiguous true natures, and her lush prose imbues the Welsh landscape with an enchantment all its own. (Aug.)