Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The return of Saint Germain and Guardian Angels

An Embarrassment of Riches
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Tor, Mar 1 2011, $29.99
ISBN 9780765331038

Early in the thirteenth century, Count Saint Germain uses the name Rakoczy Ferancsi as a guest of Bohemia’s Queen Kunigunde. For now, he knows he cannot go home but even if he could the mercurial monarch keeps the Count locked in a gilded cage. Still, he enjoys his respite in Prague making jewelry for Her Highness and trying to avoid court intrigue.

However his efforts prove futile as the ladies at court assume he is rich and single, and can see handsome. Three females vie for his attention: sneaky Rozsa, Imbolya the teenager and resolute Iliska. He eludes the trio though not easily especially Rozsa as she threatens to expose Saint Germain to the local Church, who already is suspicious of the stranger, if he fails to do her bidding.

As with all the recent Saint Germain tales (see Blood Games) the story line is much more a historical thriller than a horror novel. Still readers will enjoy the hero’s time in medieval Bohemia as he tries to avoid any entanglements but starting with the avaricious women, he cannot keep out of their affairs, that of the court especially the queen, and the church. Readers will enjoy An Embarrassment of Riches as once again the Count’s efforts to fit quietly in a new location and time make for a fresh thriller even with over three decades of starring roles under his cape. Harriet Klausner

Percival, Guardian of the King
Kent North
His Work Christian Publishing, $12.95
ISBN: 9780979918964

At the Guardian Angel Academy, student Percival is failing as he gets nothing right. Headmaster Aurelius is frustrated with his pupil who may be the first angelic dropout as Percival is dangerous to himself and others so he could never protect a human child. Although he knows he is not on a par with his peers, Percival continues to try his best refusing to quit even knowing he will never be given a child of his own.

Suddenly a miracle occurs when The Master chooses his least Percival to serve as the guardian angel protecting a special child. Everyone fears the worst but also wonders about the Master’s plan and his mysterious ways in choosing Percival though all know the Lord has a purpose for everyone. Meanwhile the worst student angel vows to be everything to his ward as he ventures to the first century Holy Land.

Although targeting middle school children, this retelling of the child Christ is a great parable that encourages readers while embracing the Lord to be all we can be and never give up trying as part of honoring God and his Son. Readers will feel transported in time and place as Kent North provides a strong Christian tale. Harriet Klausner

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