Change is coming: The old religion and Christianity are both part of the Saxon world now. Pony (Epona), the last of the Ones who worship the Goddess, waits under the sign of the White Horse for the man who will become her destiny. Pony has put off joining with a mate and giving birth to the next priestess because she fears losing her gift—the ability to "talk to the animals who eat grass."

When Alfred, King of the Saxons, comes to Pony, she is sure he is the one to father her daughter. But shortly afterwards she encounters the Viking Val and begins to feel something special for him. Torn between Al and Val, Pony will try to remain neutral, but her destiny, and that of England, are tied to the love she feels for one man only.

Susan Squires writes of a magical time before "modern civilization" with the same originality as Jean Auel or Joan Wolf. She merges a world of myth, magic, bloody battles, violence and peace with history that enchanted this reader. SENSUAL (Feb., 350 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin