"Wonderful Dark Fantasy - Lukewarm Ending"
I wanted to like this book, I really did. I loved THE
LEGEND MACKINNON and I think Ms. Kauffman is an excellent
writer. This book is a dark fantasy, a contemporary rooted
in Arthurian legend.
Jordy Decker, a sculptor of fantasy items, has been the
victim of an unscrupulous business partner. The resulting
trial, cleverly manipulated by the deviousness partner, has
cost Jordy both her business and her confidence. She has
retreated to the Florida Keys to recover and regroup.
Nearing the end of her vacation, Jordy goes to pick up the
photos she has taken as mementoes, and is given an envelope
meant for someone else. The photos are extremely
disturbing. They portray a woman who has been savagely
beaten. When Jordy attempts to return the photos, it
becomes clear that the shop clerk has no interest in
finding the real owner, or involving herself in a possible
crime. Jordy decides, in all decency, to remain in town
and turn the photos over to the police.
Malacai L'Baan, called Cai, is the intense and reclusive
author of the Dark Pearl fantasy series. He is also the
self-proclaimed guardian of his elderly grandfather,
Alfred, who had raised him after his parents died
tragically. Alfred had once been a renowned author
himself. Of late, Cai has been troubled by two things. The
first is that his grandfather seems to be slipping into
senility, often seeming to believe in the world of
Arthurian legend he had once written about so
magnificently. He often speaks as though he'd experienced
it first hand. The other problem stems from his own work.
He has been receiving alarming emails from an obsessed fan
who seems to believe the Dark Pearl is real and will do
anything to possess both it and Cai. The latest email is
indeed frightening. It claims that since Cai had not
responded to the photos sent to him, by relinquishing the
pearl, yet another woman would have to suffer. Cai
suddenly recalls a photo pickup reminder he had thrown out
as junk mail. The quest for the photos leads him to the
authorities and ultimately Jordy.
Alfred is taken by Jordy from the first. He also sees her
potential as a mate for Cai, and contrives to keep her in
the Keys by offering her a commission. Jordy genuinely
likes Alfred, and receives her first inspiration in months.
She moves in, and begins to work on a dragon sculpture for
his gardens. Proximity also fuels her growing feelings for
Cai, and her conscience will not allow her to stay out of
the quest to uncover the identity of the crazed fan.
Cai wishes to keep the problem from his grandfather, for
his health is fragile and he doesn't want him upset. He
cannot bear the thought of losing him. When Alfred finds
out on his own, he claims that the threat and the Dark
Pearl itself, are real. Cai is alarmed by his grandfather's
slipping faculties and refuses to believe the wild tales of
the pearl, and his own magical ancestry. Jordy however is
inclined to follow her heart. She believes in Alfred.
When Cai refuses Alfred's advice to go on, what he thinks
is a wild goose chase, Alfred and his companion Dilys go to
Wales to deal with the threat themselves. Cai and Jordy
follow for his sake.
The villain's plan includes making Cai her consort, and
jealousy causes her to make Jordy the next victim. Cai is
forced to follow his heart instead of his head in order to
save her and vanquish the evil one, but can he do it alone
or does destiny have other plans?
I was with these two right up to the end, but after
everything Jordy and Cai had been to each other, when their
feelings were clear, and even destiny had shown that they
were meant for each other, the fool man gets home and
decides to let Jordy go her own way. Why? Because he's a
coward (self-admittedly). He's afraid that if he asks her
to stay, she'll say no, so he doesn't take the chance. This
is a case of the hero being TSTL. Did the man need a ton
of bricks to fall on his hard little head? Not to worry
though, the story does have the requisite HEA.
Copyright © 2001
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted September 7, 2001
For thousands of years, tales of the fabled Dark Pearl were told and retold. Then the stories faded with the passage of time, leaving behind the stuff of myths and magic-until fate brought together the only two people in the world who can breathe life back into the...Legend of the Sorcerer.
Sculptor Jordy Decker came to the Florida Keys seeking inspiration for her art-but instead becomes enmeshed in a mystery that turns her world upside down...and leads her directly to Malacai L'Baan, the intense, enigmatic author of the bestselling Dark Pearl fantasy series. The mystery seems connected to alarming letters from an obsessive fan who is certain the Dark Pearl is real-and will do anything to possess it.
Jordy is drawn to Cai in a way she cannot understand...and cannot seem to resist. And as the danger grows stronger, Jordy finds magic in Cai's embrace-and a special passion that may just destroy them both....