"intricately involved tale that will keep you reading"
This is an amazingly elaborate story of a young sorceress
in the early 13th century. Carol Lynn Stewart writes with
astounding depth of knowledge and gives the reader a real
feel for life in the medieval times. The magic is so well
woven in her story that you can almost believe that this
The century is early 1200's. The inquisition is making its
mark across the lands. To be born of magic is to ensure
your death. Thus young Mariana, daughter of the Baron de
Reuilles, must make her way carefully as she is awakened
to her powers. Her mother died when she was but a babe
thus her father's mother and his sister step in to help
raise and nurture Mariana as a god-fearing child.
But Mariana is shunned by some of her people as the death
of her mother, Therese, lingers in their minds and they
too wonder if she will also become the witch they believed
Therese to be. Thus friends for Mariana were obviously
far and few between, until she stumbles on the young
squire who aspires to be a knight, Richard de la Guerche.
It is through his kindness and gentle ways that a strong
bond forms between the two.
However time passes, and Richard is called home. When
Mariana learns that Richard has been promised to another,
her hopes of a love match with him are crushed. Determined
to move on, Mariana meets his father's long time friend
and physician Ibrahim who was once in love with her
mother. He promises her mother that he will bring Mariana
into her truth birth right as the 'lady of the stone.'
A year of training passes and finds a new man entering
Mariana's life. Henri de Baucais a knight of Christ and a
soldier for the inquisition. On a mission at the Baron de
Reuilles he meets Mariana and falls in love. But the path
to marriage is not so simple as the Baron de Reuilles new
wife; Ysabel is a jealous woman and seeks the aid of magic
to lure him away.
As you can see the dynamics just keep growing with this
book. The novel is so intricately involved with many of
the secondary characters as they too hold stories of their
own. I found this book to be completely fascinating and
depth of description well written as I did not feel I was
being bored by them but rather seeing the picture more
As the book carries on in its many twists and turns, young
Richard, now a Knight of Breton returns. Leaving his
betrothed at the altar he is determined to give Mariana
one last try. If she is truly in love with Henri de
Baucais, then he will not interfere. But Richard will not
give up until he has his answer.
Mariana is so well raised through this book. You feel and
experience her transformation from the young naive victim
of circumstances; to the mature confident sorceress she
was meant to be. And regardless of the great leader she is
to become she maintains her humility.
I also found both of the men, Richard and Henri, to have
their own source of appeal. And was at some points unsure
which way Mariana would go. But as the plot unfolds and
the big picture becomes clearer so do the answers to the
many questions this book places in your mind. Again, this
was an amazing book that definitely makes you think, but
does not leave you hanging. I absolutely recommend this
book and give Carol Lynn Stewart many, many high praise
for an amazing first novel!! WOW!
Reviewed by Mindy Lobaugh
Posted June 6, 2003