In this first novel of her promising Clan of the Wolf series, Kay skillfully uses a wilderness quest and a Native American guide as mythic background for an engaging, nature-oriented romance.

When a teenager named High Wolf saves European Prince Alathom's life, he is taken to live in Germany's Black Forest. There he and the prince become close friends with Princess Sierra. The three plan to run away so High Wolf and Sierra can marry and Prince Alathom can be free, but their happiness is thwarted by a devilish priest who places a curse on them. High Wolf and the Prince sail away without Princess Sierra.

To prevent war between their countries 10 years later, the princess journeys to America to find the prince, who is now her husband by proxy marriage. She arranges for High Wolf to be her guide. High Wolf and Sierra each feel betrayed by the other, and they resist renewing their forbidden love. But the journey is about discovery, the power of love and arriving at ultimate happiness.

This is a tour de force Native American romance and a fine introduction for anyone interested in exploring this culture. SENSUAL (May, 384 pp., $5.99)
Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger