by Emma Holly

May 2003
ISBN: 0-515-13530-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback

With this novel, the multi-talented Emma Holly has taken on the world of the paranormal and made it uniquely hers. She has seamlessly blended the mythos of vampire with that of shapeshifter, and created a story that is both magical and romantic. But because this is Emma Holly, itís important to remember that thereís probably more than one thing going on here.

Gillianís soul is in grave jeopardy from the terrible plagues of medieval times. She is saved by the upyr, ancient immortals who dwell mostly in darkness, and who number a variety of races amongst their kind. Raised by a wolf clan of shapeshifters, Gillian is troubled by a driving need to know. To find out about herself, about the mortals she came from, and about the upyr themselves. Her quest for knowledge is a dangerous one, and takes her from the safety of the Den to the arms of Aimery Fitz Clare, Master Falconer.

Their adventures are extraordinary, as is the love and passion that develops between them. Ms. Holly takes us into an amazing world of mystery and desire. Itís as seductive as the pull between Gillian and Aimery, and as exciting as the nights they share. When Gillianís past arrives in the form of one very alluring upyr, issues have to be confronted and truths revealed.

Both Aimery and Gillian are standout characters, well matched in their passion and their fundamental beliefs. The environment in which they find themselves is extraordinary, but never do they let it shape their actions. They remain true to their ideals and their hearts. We canít help loving these two Ė I canít remember the last time I liked a hero and heroine so much.

Played against the love that blooms between Gillian and Aimery are subtler questions of how love is defined, how love can be distorted, and how love can often require sacrifices to survive. I found myself lost in this book, I forgot where I was and even what time it was. The adventure is spellbinding and the characters riveting. For any fan of paranormal romances this is a must-read. If youíve thought that vampires and shapeshifters were all teeth and howling at the moon, then you too must read this book. It will change your outlook completely.

Reviewed in April 2003 by Celia.

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