The Dark Ages of Saxon Britain is the backdrop for this unusual novel that blends threads of the paranormal with harshly realistic historical details and a love story.

In a changing Britain, where old religion wars with the new Christianity, Britta struggles to reclaim the magic she fears she lost when she was raped by the Saxon leader, Offa. When a captured Viking is brutally tortured and sodomized by Offa, Brittas vision tells her to heal him and escape the Saxon stronghold with him.

Karn heals, but he believes himself to be only a crippled half-man, no longer a worthy warrior. It is left to Britta to prove to him how much a man he is.

There is no doubt that Susan Squires carefully researched a little known period of history with all its harshness and cruelty. This is not for the faint of heart. Some readers may be disturbed by the accurate portrayal of the brutality common in this era even though it is an integral part of the struggle between the old and the new, Viking and Saxon. SENSUAL (Jul., 380 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin