Maria Zannini offers up a twist on the current Apocalypse trend by tying together two seemingly unrelated things: medieval history and the future of humanity. As she does so, the author keeps the reader enthralled, explains how magic users actually came into being and includes a few demons in the story. Zannini even manages to throw in the creation of a religious culture from its very inception and make it believable. Unfortunately, the story suffers when Zannini’s science and magic mix, particularly as the author relies on Roman Catholic elements of demonology. However, the romance is well done and her characters sing with realism, including the all too normal giggling of a teenage girl who is destined to become one of the most revered women in history.
Leda, a fire elemental, and Grey, a plainfolk warrior, flee their homeland to avoid being captured by Senosai, the destructive and evil ruler. The mystic, Trideus, has given the pair a clue to escaping Senosai, but their only option is a one-way trip through a portal that will send them backwards through time.
Stepping through the portal opens up more than a new world to Leda and Grey. Their relationship is tested by their traditions and the sacrifices they make for each other. Although they are determined to settle into a quiet life, the pair soon discovers that Senosai's reach is far. However, what they do while they are in the past could change everything about their present and their future. (CARINA PRESS, May, dl. $5.99)