Silhouette Nocturne, May 2010, $5.25
Medicine man Colt Black and Shelly Godwin share a common goal. They have a deep need to travel to the Canadian Rockies together to retrieve and possess an emerald sphere before the malevolent Tupay sorcerer Victor Guerra obtains and uses it. However, neither of the two gung ho warriors knows why they feel an urgent desire to risk their lives on this mission.
Colt and Shelly are surrogate fighters of the Taqe, who are battling evil. Their quest is dangerous, but both continue encouraging one another though she is wary of males and he still suffers a childhood trauma caused by a Skin Walker while their mutual adversary Guerra challenges them every step of the way.
The key to this entertaining romantic fantasy is ironically the evil side of the Tupay-Taqe war as few bad guys are developed as well as Guerra and somewhat less Yellow Teeth the Skin Walker. Colt and Shelly are an intriguing coupling as she informs him in his dreams that she is waiting for him to come for her (no double entendre intended). Fans of good vs. evil showdowns with a romance in the background will want to read The Adversary. Harriet Klausner
Silhouette Nocturne, May 2010, $5.25
While grieving for the death of his half-sister as well as the rest of his clan, vampire medic Seamus Fitzhugh vows vengeance on those who he holds culpable. Obsessed with killing her predator, he treks to the estate of his enemy vampire clan chieftain Rafferty O'Day.
However, upon arrival Seamus comes across a dying woman. Putting aside his deadly fixation, he applies his medical technician education to rescue hybrid Megan Perez from poisoning. Megan is the cousin of Rafferty’s wife, Joss. As such, Rafferty hires Seamus to serve as a medic. Seamus keeps the half-breed Megan safe from her child’s father who plots to kill her and snatch their offspring. Becoming the Vampire’s Desire as he falls in love while investigating his adversary, Seamus learns an inconvenient truth.
The Morgan mythos that is the prime backbone to the great Vampire Vendetta is the food chain in which purebred vampires reside on the top rung followed by enforcer hybrids and under them humans. That paranormal world is cleverly and plausibly constructed within the entertaining urban fantasy story line. The cast is solid either enhancing the understanding of what motivates the lead couple or the wonderful world of Alexis Morgan. Harriet Klausner
Speak To The Devil
Tor May 25 2010, $27.99
On the world Dobtov, the power of the nobles is fading due to a rise of nationalism and growing technology replacing magic as obsolescent. Still many of the aristocracy like those in Jorgany retain power and use mercenaries to add to their own soldiers when battles take place
Cardinal Zdenek orders Lancer Anton Magnus to come see him immediately. Anton is fearful that he may be accused of heresy for a ruse he arranged with his brother Wulfgang pretending to use magic or trysting with married aristocrats. Anton is not a fool to leave the Cardinal waiting so he quickly leaves the warm embrace of Baroness Nadezda Radovan to ride helter smelter to see what the powerful Cardinal demands of him.
Fearing an invasion from the Wends, Zdenek shocks the Lancer when he offers him an earldom Cardice through marriage to the previous late lord’s daughter Madlenka if he takes charge of the strategic fortress Castle Gallant and thwarts the invaders. Ironically the opportunity was made by the Cardinal because he believes Anton is a magic practitioner. He does not correct Zdenek’s misconception, but instead Anton discusses the situation with Wulfgang, who encourages him to take command of the fortress and the people; anything else would leave him with a powerful enemy rather than a powerful supporter.
Although Dave Duncan places his saga on planet Dobtov, the author makes his setting appear to be medieval Europe though he imagines a new nation in the midst of a tumultuous period of dramatic change. As technology has begun to supersede magic and altering religious belief systems as a consequence, the Speakers remain hidden in plain sight and still talk with saints or the devil depending on which dogma they believe in but Wulf believes it is the Saints who help him travel through limbo and gives him certain powers that the Church believes are Satanic. The changing of the old guard refreshes the tale. Anton is the focus of the story line, but Wulfgang steals the show as a seventeen year old in love with his new sister-on-law and recognized as a powerful Speaker by many, which places his life in jeopardy. Mr. Duncan showcases his world-building, character development and plot creativity in this entertaining fantasy. Harriet Klausner