Wildside, 2003, 35.00, 237 pp.
The eight-year-old Eidolon Emperor-elect Childeric learns that his uncle plans to kill him at the Ascension Ceremony when he turns sixteen. In desperation, he turns to the evil being Malvisage for help. The dark one provides Childeric with the mindmask that will allegedly keep him safe. However, after being held in check for centuries, Malvisage seizes the opportunity that the naive egocentric Childeric has given him. He betrays the emperor via the mask that turns Childeric into a murdering machine.
Following a Hollywood gala, Cady McCauley crashes her car. When she awakens she finds herself in a strange castle. Even weirder she recognizes some of the people she meets at the castle as being characters in a series of fantasy novels she wrote in the 1960s. Unbeknownst to her, Malvisage has opened a gate between the two realms so he can implement plans for both of them. For only she, tied to the “imprisoned” Childeric in ways no one can understand except perhaps the evil one, may be able to set the born to be emperor free.
This opening tale is a fabulous fantasy that showcases the talent of Rosemary Edghill in creating a realistic universe. The story line is exciting, fast-paced and filled with twists not normally seen in this genre. The cast seems genuine as they make the tale work to the point that readers will want to start the next novel now. Perhaps the only drawback to this geriatric is the small size of the print, but fans will risk the eyestrain to read a strong novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner