by: By M. J. Putney
Published by: Ballantine / Del Rey Book
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Reviewed By Kathy Perschmann, (Librarian, Carver County, Minnesota)
The author of A Kiss of Fate has done it again! Award-winning Mary Jo Putney has a second book in her new historical fantasy / romance series. Stolen Magic features the strong female characters and interesting plots that Putney is known for. It's a good read!
Guardian Simon Malmain sneaks into the castle of a Guardian Lord Drayton, who is being investigated for misusing his power. Simon expects his job to be easy: to announce that Drayton must appear before the Guardian council to answer charges. However, Simon is surprised by the incredibly strong and powerful magic Drayton has when Simon is transformed into a unicorn. He manages to escape, but is later captured by Drayton's men who use a virgin, one of Drayton's simple servants, Meg, to lure him into a trap. Simon is later freed by Meg, who loves horses and is dismayed that she has been used to trap this beautiful and powerful unicorn creature. They escape Drayton's power together, and Simon is returned to his human shape when Meg, who is bleeding, tends to a wound on his leg. Apparently when the blood of a virgin is mixed with his blood, it will turn him back into a human.
Simon and Meg flee to Lady Bethany's estate, where they are protected by her strong magic, but it is apparent he needs Meg by his side - for he turns into a unicorn whenever he gets angry. They decide on a sham marriage. The catch is that Meg must remain a virgin until Drayton is vanquished - and to say the least, it complicates their intense attraction to each other and adds, as we'd say today, some sexual tension and sizzle.
Simon also realizes that Meg has her own strong magic, and she has been feeding into Drayton's powers for over ten years. She has no memory of who she is or where she came from. Meg is freed from Drayton's thrall, and Simon releases her from a spell that has changed her appearance. Meg is indeed a brilliant, talented and beautiful magician, if a bit unskilled - and she immediately begins to discover and develop her powers.
If you like magical romance with castles as the setting, Armchair Interviews says you'll really enjoy this book.
From our armchair to yours...