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Giles and his companion Hugh are one their way to Wroxley Castle when Giles realizes he may well need Hugh's "gifts" to help him with the mission.

Mirielle has the gift of inborn magic and, on this particular day, as she gazes into a crystal ball, images of a man appear-a man she has seen once before. With her brother as senchel of Wroxley, Mirielle is in a unique position; neither servant nor noblewoman, but companion to the Lady Alda, her brother's lover.

Giles watches Lady Alda, wife to the absent Gavin and mother of Wroxley's heir carefully. Yet it is Mirielle who captures his attention. A rare beauty, she is also kind and appears to glow with an inner strength and goodness lacking in Lady Alda.

Mirielle is fascinated by Giles, but it is Hugh who intrigues her and piques her curiosity. She feels he is a kindred spirit and can teach her much of alchemy and magic. Hugh, too, sees Mirielle as an apt pupil and one who can help Giles in his quest for the truth.

Drawn into Wroxley's intrigues and a demonic scheme, Giles, Hugh, Alda, Mirielle and her bother, Brice, all become pawns of a powerful creature who can be destroyed only with the magic Mirielle controls and with the love she and Giles share.

Those who adore the mystical will find themselves held captive by Flora Speer's tale of magic, evil, enchantment and intrigue. The metaphysical elements turn what might be an ordinary tale into one of interest, but only to those who thirst for the unusual. SENSUAL (June, 380 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin