Simon R. Green
Roc, Feb 2002, 14.60, 304 pp.
Toby Dexter is an ordinary man living an average life in Bradford-on-Avon clerking at a bookstore. He commutes daily by train to Bath where he sees a woman he considers most beautiful but he is too shy to strike up a conversation or let alone ask her out. One day when they both get off the train at Bradford-on-Avon, it is raining and the woman opens up a door that wasn't there a moment ago.
When Toby follows her through the door, it is no longer raining and he finally talks to Gayle, the object of his desire. She informs him that he is now in Mysterie, the magical reflection of the mundane Veritae that he knows as Bradford-on-Avon. The pair learns that Toby following Gayle, a being who is more than she seems, into Mysterie was no accident. It seems he is a focal point of power and possible Humanity's Champion in the upcoming battle with The Sun of the Serpent, his son, and a fallen being named Angel.
DRINKING MIDNIGHT WINE is an enchanting fantasy, an adult fairy tale that makes one want to believe such places as Mysterie really exist. The age-old battle between good and evil is fought between the pages of this novel but some of the villainous characters strongly evoke pity in the heart of the reader. That in turn makes the tale more believable as the ever creative Simon R. Green puts a new spin on ancient truths.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner