An unscrupulous partner has left sculptor Jordy Deckers life in a mess. Now that the court battle is over, Jordy is vacationing in the Florida Keys, when her roll of film is switched at a photoshop with another persons film. The developed pictures show a savagely beaten young woman. Horrified, Jordy takes the pictures to the police who can do little to help.

Reclusive fantasy author Malacai LBaan, whos written the best-selling Dark Pearl series, receives e-mail from a woman calling herself Margaron. This obsessed fan keeps insisting that he bring her the real Dark Pearl or others will suffer.

Not wishing to upset his grandfather Alfred, Cai tries to deal with the situation himself. He goes in search of some photos that Margaron has left for him, only to stumble across Jordy. At first, Jordy suspects that Cai might be the abuser of the unknown woman, but realizes that he too is trying to solve the mystery. Jordy is also charmed by retired Arthurian scholar Alfred, who commissions her to sculpt a statue of the dragon she drew for Cai.

When Alfred discovers the e-mails, he fears he has made a mistake in not teaching Cai about his heritage and the burden LBaan men must carry. Nothing has prepared Cai for the evil he and Jordy face.

From the very first page, Ms. Kauffman reaches out and seizes readers attention by constructing an utterly mesmerizing and exhilarating tale that will leave them breathless. Ms. Kauffman is a born storyteller. (Mar., 336 pp, $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith