by Kay Hooper

May 1993
ISBN: 0-553-28999-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Bantam Books
Mass Market Paperback

Kay Hooper has a formidable talent for delivering stories with unique twists; The Wizard of Seattle is no exception. We start our story in Atlanta in the past where a woman of power is being hunted, abused then left for dead; it won't be until later that we discover the true impact of this tale of horror and sorrow. Next a brief stop in Seattle 1984 where a 16 year old Serena appears on the doorstep of Richard Patrick Merlin, her wild talent overflowing its bounds as she asks for his help. In consenting to help Serena, Merlin knows he is breaking the laws of his kind even though the reason for this taboo has long been forgotten.

Now we arrive in modern times - Serena has grown, in age and talent and Merlin's secret training of Serena is about to be discovered. Not only has Serena's talent grown but also her attraction to Merlin, which leads to all sorts of problems, especially when she accidentally invades his mind at a very inopportune moment - which naturally starts Merlin looking at her in a completely different way.

Serena is wonderful heroine to read about; she comes alive in the pages of the book with her talent, quirky sense of humor, street smarts and the love she will not give up on no matter what obstacles are put in her way. What she wants she will fight for. Merlin is a slightly different prospect, not only is he a vastly talented wizard, he also has a huge capacity for love which is being held back by this forgotten taboo that causes him to see Serena as a threat. When his training of Serena is discovered, it is not just he who finds it hard to trust, we find that his whole race of male wizards cannot trust any women. This is especially true for women of power. Thus, Merlin is told to destroy Serena's powers - but for a man with as much compassion as Merlin, this is impossible.

The rest of the story is about the lengths that Serena and Merlin will go to try to discover what it was that so warped the race of wizards that they are incapable of trusting any female. Not only are we caught up in this adventure as they travel through time to ancient Atlantis, we are also able to watch the growing closeness of these two - as Merlin fights his innate fear of letting a woman close to him, Serena also has her own challenges in trying to help him overcome that fear.

This is a wonderful story about the age-old story of the battle for love and trust. What makes it truly great is Kay Hooper's wonderful ability to tell a tale of magic, time-travel, lust and a love so wonderful it can overcome any boundaries. The Wizard of Seattle is well worth its 5 star rating and I would recommend it to anyone. It is definitely worth keeping as reading it once is not enough.

Reviewed in November 2001 by Julie.

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