Because Andersen provides only sketchy details about the origin and rules of her world's magic, it is a wild card in the plot, and readers lose the fun of speculating about how the magic might influence events.
Although the secondary characters and backdrop could be better developed, the main characters have believable motives and reactions. Humorous quips tend to undercut the tension in threatening situations, as when Michael awakens with a leonine guardian unexpectedly menacing and kneading him, and he thinks, "It was tenderizing him before it ate him. How civilized." Despite weak magical plot elements, if you like a blend of magic, romance and suspense, this may be just your cup of… elixir.

THE GUARDIAN OF THE AMULETS has some familiar romance elements: a hero who believes his wife is dead and doesn't know he fathered a daughter, and a heroine building a new identity and life in a small town. Less familiar are the magical amulets that have the power to control an island and its secret riches, and the mystical felines that guard this treasure.

(Feb., 202 pp., $26.95)

Reviewed by: 
Kay Mayo