M. J. Putney
Del Rey, 2005 (2005)
Reviewed by Martina Bexte
imon Malmain's double life as the Earl of Falconer and chief enforcer for the Guardian Council keeps him very busy. On this particular night, he sets out to confront and, if necessary, strip the magical powers from another Guardian who's come under scrutiny for rampant misuse of magic. Unfortunately for Simon, Lord Drayton has anticipated his arrival and ensnares him in a trap. Helpless within the magic circle, Simon is turned into a unicorn. He realizes with horror that Drayton plans to kill him and then harvest the unicorn's horn to enhance his powers. Simon manages to escape but is seriously injured during he ensuing chase.
has been under Lord Drayton's thrall for the past ten years. With her altered appearance and apparent simplemindedness, no one has paid the young woman much attention. Meg has no memory of her past or her latent magical abilities - nor does she know that Drayton plans to use her
to lure the unicorn to his doom. However, Meggie, who's always had a deep bond with animals, breaks Drayton's hold long enough to help Simon. Meg and Simon both understand that his release is only temporary, that Drayton is the only one who can successfully reverse the dark spell he has cast over Simon. But, for now, their most important mission is to collect evidence against Drayton; only then will the Guardian Council understand the diabolical nature of Lord Drayton's ultimate goal.
. J. Putney is the lightly disguised pseudonym of veteran historical author Mary Jane Putney, whose rich and detailed stories have been consistent fan favorites.
is the second installment of her
series. While the plot and the romance between Simon and Meg are pretty straightforward fare, both are enhanced by the fantastical and well-realized
world Putney has created. Meg and Simon are a nicely matched pair. Their unconsummated marriage keeps the sexual tension high throughout most of the book, often with amusing results during moments when Simon's
instincts keep turning him into a unicorn. Putney also introduces various new Guardians, which will surely guarantee another sequel or two.
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