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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 34.
- Review Date: 2007-04-23
- Reviewer: Staff
Near the start of this diverting romantic fantasy set in 1753, the third Guardians novel from bestseller Putney (after 2005’s Stolen Magic), Nikolai Gregorio, a handsome pirate captain operating in the Mediterranean, kidnaps pretty red-haired Jean Macrae, a member of the Scottish branch of the Guardians (humans with magical powers derived from nature), in revenge for a wrong he thinks her father did him 20 years earlier. A decent sort who possesses limited magical powers, Nikolai is dedicated to fighting the evil of slavery by freeing galley slaves. He even sets up an island refuge for them. After Adia Adams, a freed slave, travels back in time from 1787 London, the pirate and the fiery Scotswoman find themselves on a dangerous magical mission to strengthen the fledgling abolitionist movement. The mix of magic, time travel, history, adventure, romance and social consciousness will delight series fans, but may strike some readers as an incongruous blend. (July)
A gathering of guardians
The rules of magic create a community of their own. The always adept Mary Jo Putney brings us a darkly atmospheric and moody tale in her second Guardians novel, A Distant Magic. Jean Macrae, the daughter of a Guardian, has traveled to Marseille for a wedding, where she is kidnapped by a tortured pirate, Nikolai, who claims to have made a blood oath against her father for a long-ago crime of betrayal. Jean is herself of Guardian blood, though she finds magic painful to use, and yet that magic tells her that the haunted and bitter Nikolai might be vulnerable to the love of the right woman. Written in Putney's elegant style, A Distant Magic is a highly romantic fantasy novel woven with multicultural chords and sharpened with commentary about slavery and the slave trade.
Barbara Samuel has written more than 30 novels. She blogs regularly about books, food and travel at www.awriterafoot.com.