by Bertrice Small

November 1987
ISBN: 0-451-82165-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Signet Books
Mass Market Paperback

Enchantress Mine is the story of a young girl's journey in becoming a woman. Mairin was forced from her home and sold into slavery by her stepmother when she was just 6 years old. This is only the first of many terrible trials she will undergo in her life. Mairin will see herself married to a Byzantium Prince, pursued by a Viking who will not take no for an answer, and in love with a gallant knight. Her quest for happiness brings much sorrow, but will she find lasting love?

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Enchantress Mine follows the pattern of other Bertice Small books I have read. The story begins with a young girl and the reader sees her grow to adulthood, with several men in her life. Bertrice Small's books are often disturbingly realistic, taking into consideration the customs of the era. For example, Mairin experiences her first taste of passion when she is only 14 years old. This may have been the norm for the time period; however, most readers will find such instances disturbing, not to mention bordering on child molestation.

Enchantress Mine is definitely full of action and adventure, but often so much so that one paragraph can see a main character die or some other catastrophe that has the novel changing in a completely different direction. This is another tendency of Bertrice Small's style of writing that I have come across often and do not particularly enjoy.

Although the reader learns much about Mairin throughout the story, we do not know much at all about the men in her life. Since there were several, it may have been difficult for Ms. Small to delve too deeply into each of them. However, Enchantress Mine would have been more satisfying as a romance to understand why Mairin falls in love with Josselin.

The murders and deceptions also may have been realistic and quite common for the era, but do not make for a lighthearted romance. If you enjoy your novels on the darker side, perhaps you may enjoy Enchantress Mine.

Reviewed in December 2001 by Nicole.

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