by Mary Jo Putney

July 2007
ISBN: 978-0-345-47691-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Ballantine Books

Mary Jo Putney’s newest novel, A Distant Magic invites readers into her magical world of the Guardians. A world that takes readers from the glittering ballrooms of England to tropical islands but also sweeps readers across time itself. This is a journey no reader will want to miss.

Jean Macrae is from one of England’s most powerful and magical family but Jean has little talent herself. She often feels useless and that her life could be so much more. While in France for a wedding; Jean is captured by a most intriguing man -a man who has a vendetta against the Macrae family. Jean is determined to change his mind about her and her family.

Captain Nikolai Gregorio was orphaned as a child and forced into slavery. Nikolai believes the he was betrayed by Jean’s father which led to his horrible time as a slave. He has made it a life’s pursuit to put slavers out of business. When Jean sees how slaves are treated aboard the slave ships, she joins his quest. Together Jean and Nikolai work to magically put an end to slavery and with the help of a former slave the two of them make quite a journey through time to reach their goals and along the way they find something they both were missing- love!

I really loved the idea of this book. The Guardians have always captured my imagination and Putney’s ability to connect readers with her characters shines through once again. Jean and Nikolai are very complicated characters that start out not really liking each other much and through the book truly fall in love. The progression of the love story is wonderful as are many of the secondary characters many of whom have stared in Guardian books of their own. The time travel aspect allows long time Putney fans to check in on their favorite characters and what happens to them in the future. The slavery aspect of the novel is told through the eyes of a young African American woman who is a slave in colonial America. Overall the book has a lot of really good ideas and characters but it did not flow as well as the other Guardian books and at times the plot is difficult to follow especially with everyone popping in and out of the future. While not up to Putney’s usually standards this book is a must read for those who follow the Guardians series.

Reviewed in July 2007 by Jen.

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