Margaret of Ashbury is ready to settle down; the medieval healer is looking forward to an uneventful life in the country. Read more...
Margaret of Ashbury is ready to settle down; the medieval healer is looking forward to an uneventful life in the country. And, indeed, life with her true love and a brood of rambunctious children is nearly perfect--except for her husband Gregory's ever-meddling family. Finding himself deep in debt once again, Gregory's father has plotted to sell Margaret's daughter off in marriage to save his woodlands from a greedy abbot. In a panic, Margaret turns to her old friend Brother Malachi to help save her daughter by whatever means necessary. The tension within the feuding family rouses an ancient being that dwells in a spring at the center of the disputed woodland. The watery creature has its own plans, and its eye is on Margaret's infant son.
Favorite characters return, the stakes are high, and the air is thick with intrigue and danger. Written with the historical accuracy, supernatural plot twists, and humor that Riley's readers have grown to love, The Water Devil is a high-spirited adventure that brings Margaret's odyssey to a satisfying conclusion.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 36.
- Review Date: 2006-12-04
- Reviewer: Staff
Set in England in 1362, Riley's charming conclusion to her trilogy that began with A Vision of Light finds Margaret of Ashbury still having amusing conversations with God ("As Supreme Judge of All Things, I assure you that you are one of the half-dozen most talkative of My creations"). Margaret's scrofulous and quarrelsome father-in-law plans to use her marriageable and well-dowered daughter, Cecily, as a bargaining chip in a squabble about riparian rights and borders. But the creature who dwells in the spring in question, the eponymous Water Devil, has other plans. Fortunately, Margaret has a lovely collection of con artists and mountebanks to help her save the incorrigible Cecily from being wed to an aged lecher. But who will save her son from the Water Devil? This is a sometimes funny, sometimes dramatic, but always compassionate love story with a perfect ending. (Feb.)