by Mary Jo Putney
A Kiss of Fate
Ballantine, June, 2004.
Hardcover, 340 pages.
In the mid-eighteenth century Gwynne Owens has always been surrounded by magic, although she doesn't have any powers herself. She is the daughter of the librarian for the wealthy and powerful Guardians, mages who wield their gifts secretly in order to preserve England and Scotland. When Gwynne is told by the Council of the Guardians that they would like her to marry Duncan Macrae, the Scottish Guardian, Storm Lord and mage, she resists at first but finally agrees. After her marriage, Gwynne finds out that she actually has incredible powers herself. She adjusts to being the mistress of a Scottish castle, but when Bonnie Prince Charlie arrives to raise an army to rebel against the English occupation, Gwynne knows that she has a decision to make. As a Guardian, Duncan is sworn to uphold the English king to avoid the greater harm to the country, but as a Scotsman, he longs to use his power to help the Jacobite rebellion. Now Gwynne must make a terrible choice between the man she has come to love and her sworn duty as a Guardian.
Mary Jo Putney has an amazing gift for making the past accessible. In this first book of a projected new series, magic is interwoven with real historical events with fascinating results. The Guardians are in society, and yet outside of it at the same time. The female Guardians are much bolder and have much more freedom than other women of their time. Ms. Putney weaves a wonderful and passionate love story between Duncan and Gwynne, with vivid supporting characters and a breathless pace. This is an outstanding beginning in what is sure to be a fantastic new series.
A Kiss of Fate is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the July-August, 2004 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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