Jove, Jan 2003, 7.99, 352 pp.
In 1278 England, Dienwald de Fortenberry, son-in-law to King Edward I, bestows knighthood on Sir Bishop of Lythe for rescuing his wife, Philippa. The English monarch also reward Bishop for rescuing his favorite daughter born out of wedlock by naming him the latest spouse of eighteen year-old Merryn de Gay, a four time widow and mistress of Penwyth Castle. His Highness believes that Bishop might just be the person who can end the curse allegedly placed by witches or Druids that any male who takes Penwyth Castle by force or assaults its mistress will die as some of the King's men have.
Bishop thinks humans have done the murders so he concocts a plan in which he will arrive as the King's Wizard sent to solve THE PENWYTH CURSE. That he figures should provide him the time and cover to learn what is truly going on in this Cornwell keep. Merrlyn thinks he is a lying brute, perhaps a bit more clever than the others. As she sees he is a lot more different than the previous men because he cares about people, the couple begins to fall in love. In a bygone era a wizard also seeks the love of an elusive butterfly.
Catherine Coulter is at her best with this historical romance that tells the stories of parallel loves. The story line moves back and forth between the two periods. This technique displays the author's talent as both subplots enhance one another. The four prime players and the secondary cast make for quite a wonderful time for fans of the sub-genre who desire a fantasy twist to a strong novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner