"Two Legacies, Two Worlds vie for the Heart of a Woman with Special Abilities"

This is a medieval romantic fantasy with some dark elements, mainly due to the time period and human nature, rather than the paranormal aspect. Mariana de Reuilles is the only child of a baron. For as long as she can remember she's been quartered outside the main house. She is legitimate, and therefore does not understand the reason that her father chooses not to acknowledge her. Her mother had died long before, and she's had little contact with the man. For this reason she's been plagued unmercifully by her father's squires.

She's had terrible dreams about her mother, and has determined that the only way to conquer her fears is to face them. In the middle of the night she sallies forth to her mother's garden. It is a place few would brave at that hour, for it is said to be haunted. She had not expected company. Three young squires had also come to the garden, on a dare. Two of the young men are her tormentors. The third, Richard de la Guerche, takes pity on her, becoming a champion of sorts. It is evident that he has feelings for the girl.

As time passes the two bullies continue to torment her until, in her anger, she unleashes a force she'd been unaware she had the power to create. Richard arrives in the nick of time and urges her to close the door on it. If he has any notion of what she's just unleashed he isn't given time to tell her. His father is very ill, and he's been called home. This puts an end to their budding romance as well for the time being.

Someone else has the knowledge of who and what Mariana is, her father's lover, Ibrahim. Through him her parents' secrets are revealed. She learns the reason for her father's seeming neglect and also of the legacy her mother had gifted her with. Marianna had been raised as a Christian like her father, but she finds she cannot turn her back on the mother's legacy. She trains with Ibrahim for one year, and upon her return is at last welcome in the keep. Her father is soon to be wed.

Mariana had not forgotten Richard. He had become a part of her dreams for the future. At her father's wedding reception those dreams are shattered. Though Richard had returned her feelings and shared in that dream, he had acceded to his family's wishes, and become betrothed to another. Mariana would find another as well.

Henri de Baucaise, a knight of Christ, had recently witnessed the burning of Cathars at Montsequr. He had gladly taken leave of that place, to take up a quest to recover a religious relic which had been spirited away by a Basque mercenary, in the confusion of the day. The quest leads him to Mariana's door. Taken with Mariana, he proposes marriage. He is handsome and kind to her, and Richard is lost to her. Mariana accepts. Unfortunately her stepmother, having learned of her husband's true nature, also covets Henri, a former lover. In her jealousy of both Ibrahim and Mariana she resorts to spells to punish them. Her actions bring the Inquisition down upon them.

Because of her nature, Mariana is in true danger. Her only choice for survival is to flee. Richard has arrived for her wedding. He is unwed, having determined that Mariana was the only woman he could ever love. Fate brings the pair together again as Mariana prepares to flee. Once more he has become her champion. She intends to seek the protection of her mother's people. But having found them she learns that they need her protection more.� Her talent is special. Only she can save them from harm. But her father is in danger as well. Can she turn her back on him in his time of need. Does she possess the power inside to save them both? How will she choose between the two worlds in which she belongs, or the two men that love her? Does the sacred relic in her possession hold the answers?

February, 2001
Copyright 2001

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted April 25, 2002


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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