Kayan, the prince from Bactria, learns that the love of his life, Roxanne, has been killed far away. He vows conquest and revenge. But Roxanne is alive, with no memory. Only flashes regarding her child and the child's father make her long to know her past. She's now called Mayet, the pampered concubine of King Ptolemy.

Until Kayan arrives to rescue her, Mayet endures captivity, Ptolemy's attentions and the murderous schemes of his two wives. She's brave but must know who to trust before deciding whether it's her fate to be wife to Kayan or Ptolemy.

The opening might seem slow for any reader who hasn't braved reading about this era before. Intense political intrigue, an element of the paranormal and a major culture clash are as central to French's rich presentation as her love story is. There are secret heirs, new war technology, the personal sacrifices only love makes possible and plenty of action. SPICY (Aug., 351 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger