Forge, Apr 2004, 24.95. 384 pp.
Fifteen years have passed since Corban Loosestrife came to his home in Ireland to find his family dead except for his twin sister. He rescued her, killed Jorvik King Eric Bloodaxe who murdered his family and raped his sister. Corban, his beloved Benna and others took refuge in Vinland. Though now a family man and farmer, Corban knows the blood oaths still tie him to Ireland and Denmark and his belief is proven when the Viking ship arrives to bring him back to the King.
Corban's son Conn and nephew Raef join him as he journeys to where Eric's widow Gunnhild and her son the monarch await him while leaving the women behind on what surely must be a dangerous venture. The peril at sea and on land mounts and Corban panics when his two young compatriots are separated from him. Worse he and his relatives may be caught in the crosshairs of Viking nobles and the Danish Christian King. If Corban lives and overcomes his guilt over the fates of his son and nephew, he must placate Gunnhild, probably the toughest task of all.
Though more historical fiction, THE WITCHES' KITCHEN also contains fantasy and supernatural elements. The tale focuses on Corban as he struggles with feelings of guilt that seem to compound as he and his cohorts journey through treacherous territory.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner