Jarred is a young boy who has grown up among his mother's peaceful desert people. While Jarred loves his mother, he longs to know the history of his father, a journeyman who left years earlier, promising to return for his wife and infant son. A broken promise but a token left behind--an amulet for Jarred that he has worn always. Some say it brings more than a bit of good luck his way, for no harm has ever befallen the boy.
When Jarred comes to manhood, he decides to journey into the world to seek his fortune and perhaps along the way find news of his father. In his travels he will come to a place so unlike his own as to boggle his mind--a place of immense tracts of waterways and marshes, where the very air seems to teem with magic and a people surrounded by creatures fey and not, with enough strange customs and superstitions to make his head swirl.
And to the beautiful Lilith, a woman who will haunt his dreams and ultimately steal his heart...who perhaps can provide a key to his heritage.
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Cecilia Dart-Thornton's interests include playing music, oil painting, graphic design, photography, and clay sculpture. She lives in Australia.
If Tolkien wrote romance, the result might be something like the first volume of Australian author Dart-Thornton's new fantasy trilogy (after the Bitterbynde trilogy, which began with The Ill-Made Mute). While on a journey to discover more about his mysterious antecedents, Jarred, the book's handsome hero, meets the beauteous Lilith, who's cursed by "a malediction of the bloodline" that dooms one spouse of a pair to an early death while the other is "driven mad by some delusion of being followed." She cares for Jarred too much to wed and hurt him and their offspring. Jarred adds a second familial quest to his first in order to thwart the curse, and the lovers are soon involved in years of convoluted if fairly convincing adventures. Fueled by Celtic folklore, the novel is packed with unusual minor characters, including an eccentric queen obsessed with a single color at a time. The author's poetic pseudo-medieval style, evidently inspired by Keats and Shakespeare, veers from the enchantingly effective to the occasionally irritating. The goblet brimmeth over with elements typical of epic fantasy (sorcerers, monsters, magic jewels, untold treasures, etc.) and of the currently fashionable subgenre of paranormal romance (otherworldly amour, supernatural goings-on, great looks, good hair, etc.); the brew will undoubtedly prove popular. Agent, Martha Millard.
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