cover image The Twelfth Enchantment

The Twelfth Enchantment

David Liss. Random, $26 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6896-8

Set in 1812 Nottinghamshire, this delightfully original tale from Liss (The Devil's Company) combines the classic elements of a Regency romance with ancient magic and the machine-breaking of the Luddite rebellion. Now living with her miserly uncle, orphaned and impoverished 20-year-old Lucy Derrick%E2%80%94already with one failed elopement to her name%E2%80%94feels her only escape is via marriage to the unpleasant mill-owner Mr. Olson. That is, until the day the notorious Lord Byron appears on her doorstep, apparently under a curse, and warns her to avoid the marriage and "gather the leaves." Tutored by the mysterious Mary Crawford and courted desultorily by the rakish Byron, Lucy begins to unlock her own magical talents. In the process, she discovers the secrets of her own past, as well as an ancient evil that threatens England itself. Liss neatly tweaks the conventions of the genre, effectively combining the personages and political issues of the day with alchemical science and the ghostly mysteries of the barrow-mounds for a historical adventure with appeal well beyond fans of the Regency era. (Aug.)