"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 truly happened.

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 clearly.

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


Also in electronic format: Nov. 2000/ Hard Shell Word; ISBN: 1582005605

Beautiful half-Basque witch Mariana de Reuilles comes into her full powers torn between the love of two men. When a sacred treasure from the ashes of the Cathar stronghold of Montsegur falls into Mariana's hands, she must choose . . .


Door in the Sky
by Carol Lynn Stewart

Hard Shell Word Factory
February 1, 2002
Available: February 1, 2002
ISBN #0759900515
EAN #9780759900516
392 pages
Paperback (reprint)
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