The daughter of King Arthur leaves the Summer Lands of Faerie to petition the Catholic Tudor Queen for a truce between worlds in this uber-romantic take on Arthurian lore. If you are a devotee of The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley and you enjoy sensuous romantic heat that threads through a great story, you will relish immersing yourself in the world Laura Navarre created that intersects sixteenth century English historical fiction with some surprisingly fresh interpretations of Arthurian legends, and then blends a new element into the mix: angelic lore.
Tasked by her mother, the Faerie Queen Maeve, to reach an accord with her human counterpart, Mary Tudor, Rhiannon le Fay crosses the Veil into Tudor England—a portal that is thinning as the millennial Convergence approaches. The intersecting of these two worlds, Faerie and the mortal realm, will bring endless wars between the two unless Rhiannon’s mission is completed.
For the virginal half-Faerie, half-human princess, the timing is dire, as the Inquisition’s reign of terror is in full force. Even worse, Beltran, one of the “Blades of God,” who enforces the papal edicts has picked up Rhiannon’s trail. Intent on delivering to Bishop Bonner any soul suspected of devilry, Lord Beltran Nemesto makes quick work of Rhiannon’s escort as he captures the princess.
Little did Beltran expect to be captured by Rhiannon. Her elfin beauty torments him far more than is seemly for a man of God. It is lust at first sight, but by the time Beltran reverses his original course and determines to protect Rhiannon from the inquisitors, it is too late.
Eluding his custody at the country manor of the exiled Lady Elizabeth, Rhiannon makes her way to Hampton Court, where the sickly and pious Queen Mary believes her first an angel, and then a witch. Thrusts and parries of passion ensue on many levels as Rhiannon and Beltran’s loyalties and faith are tested at first by their honor bound by their respective duties to kith and kin, and then to each other—especially when the ultimate sacrifice is required from both of them.
Navarre expertly employs “The Convergence” as a macrocosm of the religious struggle between the Faerie princess and the man called God’s Vengeance. Herein lays the crux of the novel, as Faerie magic and Christian dogma collide repeatedly across time and space.
Magick by Moonrise’s romantic heat is sensual, stirring and puissant—enough to empower Rhiannon and Beltran to overcome the deep chasm that separates them. Navarre’s lush writing style, which deftly appeals to the senses, describes the unbridled lust stirring in Beltran while he debates with himself over his duties, loyalties and honor. Alternatively, she artfully reveals the euphoria of feminine ecstasy that comes with submission of heart and soul.
Book One of Navarre’s Magick Trilogy, Magick by Moonrise, will leave fans of fantasy and romance eagerly awaiting the series’ next installment.