Luna, Apr 2004, 400 pp.
Once the Kingdom of Umbria was a peaceful pastoral place where magic healed and helped the people. Then the Han invaded Umbria, destroying its customs and culture, and forbidding magic to be practiced at all. Those who do use magic are shunned by people except when they are needed to heal a hurt. Maura Woodbury, the Enchantress of Windleford, is used to being ignored because she has the love of her mentor the wizard Langbard. One day the wizard tells his ward that she is the Destined Queen who will wake her future husband the Waiting King from his unnatural sleep and then he will deal with the army of occupation.
Before she can adjust to her fate, an outlaw is in danger of being killed by the Han and using magic Maura rescues him. Langbard convinces Ratho accompany Maura to Prum where she will find a map that will lead her to the Waiting King. During the journey, Maura and Rath fall in love but there is nothing they can do about it because her destiny lies in a direction away from him. The Han are aware of their quest and send their most powerful mages and warriors to stop them.
Deborah Hale has written a delightful, exciting and memorable romantic fantasy about a heroine who believes in all the old legends and a hero who believe only in himself. Together they make a powerful fighting force in their quest to rid their country of the conquerors who wish that the pages of THE WIZARD'S WARD. This fantastic novel will also appeal to fans of sword and sorcery novels.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner