Rolphe de Vianein, returning home from the Crusades, uncorks a gift meant for his brother. Out of the ancient bottle come two jians, one evil, one good. The first grants him her palace but curses Rolphe to wander the earth by day as a wolf and to take human form by night. The second, unable to reverse the spell, grants that if Rolphe can find a woman who loves him the curse will be broken.
Amelise de Sayerne must choose between two suitors or return to the convent where she was raised. Fearful of men greedy for her dowry, Amelise chooses the convent. On the way she is attacked by wolves. Seeing the magical palace before her, she is denied entrance unless she agrees to marry the lord of the palace, sight unseen. In a panic she agrees and the story unfolds.
Ms. Delacroix takes the reader into a magical fantasy reminiscent of the legend of Cupid and Psyche. The reader won't want to put this book down and even then, Ms. Delacroix teases us with a hint of the next book in the de Sayerne series. (May, 400 pp., $4.99)