"Art Imitates Life for Painter and an OtherWorldly Prince"
Ten years after the accident which had killed her parents
and put her in a coma, Angelique Blanchard's artistic
career may be at a standstill due to her irrational fear of
rain. She'd missed several major showings due to the threat
of precipitation. Now her agent is threatening to quit if
she refuses to attend the next gallery showing in Seattle,
a city known for its rain.
Her fear did not stem from the storm-caused accident as her
doctors thought, nor from her coma-induced fantasy as her
agent accused. Angie knew she couldn't explain the reason
for her fear to anyone, even Donald, lest she be thought
insane. It was because, after ten years, the mere mention
of rain could still bring those vivid visions crashing
back. Just discussing the showing had had her fighting for
control of her mind. The hallucinations inspired her work,
but she could not afford to let anyone witness one of
her "episodes". She knew that the only way to dispel them
was to paint.
Back at her studio, Angie surveys her latest work and
realizes that the same presence has invaded all of her
recent paintings. Reynart, her dream lover, is an
intangible, dark, and shadowy presence in each piece.
Catching herself for a moment believing that her fantasy
world is real, Angie decides to go hiking in the Valley of
Fire to clear her head and think about her future.
Something terribly wrong had happened to her. Had she
lapsed into a coma again? Been bitten by a snake? She'd
been resting in her favorite thinking spot one minute, the
next she was once more in a world that only existed in her
imagination, and try though she might she couldn't wrest
her mind back to reality. She could only pray that someone
would find her and get her the medical attention she
obviously needed. Still stunned, Angelique finds herself
face to face with Reynart D'Altha, who seems to have aged
ten years as well, and doesn't appear to be happy to see
He is not. "Anjeli" had been his lover once, but she had
betrayed him and now she would pay for the destruction of
his kingdom. After the gates had collapsed, he'd been
unable to access Nord D'Rae even to survey the damage. What
might have been would never be his. He was but a shadow
prince now, an assassin for hire.
She had claimed to be from another world, and he had sent
her back there in the aftermath of her betrayal. Now she
had returned, apparently lost to her world once more, and
she would remain that way if he had anything to say about
it. She would suffer the loss of all she loved, just as he
Reynart has business to take care of and arranges to meet
Anjeli the next day at an inn. She obeys only because she
knows he is the key to breaking free of her fantasy. There
they are approached by a mage with a mission. She claims
that the gate collapses had been caused by the failure of a
high level spell attempted by a rogue wizard, and explains
that a member of the Nord D'Rae royal house, and an energy
source such as Anjeli, are needed in order resurrect them.
Together with the mage's magical ability, the three could
restore the natural balance of energy in this world. They
have been given one month in which to restore the central
If the mage's tale is true, Anjeli's spirit had been a pawn
in the wizard's grand scheme, a conduit that would form a
gateway between their world and her own. None of her
arguments sway Reynart. He is bent on revenge, but agrees
to come along in exchange for a personal favor to be named
later. Thus Beryl the mage, Reynart the prince, Anjeli the
energy repository, and Kerrim, a young and stalwart
minstrel (subject of Angie's last painting), embark on a
perilous month long journey, each with their own agenda,
all knowing that the reason for Angeli's sudden return must
soon be faced. To win that battle they must learn to work
together -- to trust.
From present day Arizona to a medieval world fueled by
magic, SHADOW PRINCE will hold the reader in its
thrall with deep characterizations, wry humor, and
plausible fantasy. It is a tale of personal growth that
many will be able to identify with, for Reynart's issues
with love and trust had developed long before he'd
encountered Anjeli. He must deal with his past, in order to
accept her and the feelings that they share. Can he give up
his plans for revenge? Can he open his battered heart to a
woman who would give the world to be with him? Highly
Copyright © 2001
Review based on New Concepts Publishing rel. -
October 15, 2001,
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted February 7, 2002
The kingdom of Nord D'Rae was destroyed ten years ago, although there are hundreds of theories as to how and why it happened. Popular sentiment blames the bastard prince Reynart D'Altha. But no one is foolish enough to ask the deadly assassin that Reynart has become.
Fantasy artist Angie Blanchard was assured by her psychiatrist that her visit to the imaginary kingdom of Nord D'Rae was a particularly vivid coma dream. The obsession threatens not only her sanity but her life. Finding out that the fantasy world is real doesn't change that threat, only transforms it.
When Angie is magically transported to Reynart's world, his plans for vengeance are interrupted by the mage council's representative. The destruction of Nord D'Rae destabilized the world's magical gateways, a situation which has recently become critical. The mage needs both Angie and Reynart to help her restore the broken Nord D'Rae gateway, then seal it for good. On their quest, they must face the lies and betrayals of ten years ago.
Too bad they'd rather kill each other.
This book is was previously published elsewhere.