Well plotted, with vivid characters and a strong sense of time and place, this story
is marred by a huge coincidence integral to the plot. In some ways, it's like an old-fashioned historical romance with stronger language and sexuality added -- which some will no doubt appreciate.

Taken prisoner by Lord Aeglech, the Saxon king of Brittania, Sierra acts as assistant to his executioner, Balrogan. It's a dark existence that she relieves only through the occasional interlude with her lover, Cearl.

Sierra's deceased mother was a Druid and the king's spiritual adviser, which didn't save her life. Sierra hungers for revenge, and the chance comes from an unexpected source. Dryston of Hereford, a former Roman soldier, is captured during a raid. A rebel devoted to freeing the country from the Saxons, Dryston needs Sierra's help to escape. Charged with learning what Dryston knows by any means necessary, Sierra comes to trust him. If they escape, will they stay alive long enough to achieve their objectives? (SPICE, Aug., 320 pp., $13.95)
Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer