Shop owner and jeweler Maggie OBrien stops in a video-game store. There she sees a poster of Kered, Warrior Extraordinaire of the best-selling game, Tolemac Wars. He dazzles her, and, after lightning strikes, he stands above her.

Kered considers the stranger a captive whose unusual coloring brands her as a pleaser slave. He insists that she accompany him as he seeks a legendary sword and cup.

Maggies Navaho background serves her well in the harsh new world. The pendant she has created is sacred here, and she is the one who calls for the Sword of Ruthra. They return to the city victorious. But a disaster forces Kered to send Maggie from the game.

Back in the real world, Maggie must join with the games creator in thwarting an attempt to destroy the world. Along the way, she will discover a love stronger than two realities.

Basing her tale on the Arthurian legend, Ms. Lawrence captures the reader on the first page with her clever use of names and scenery. Brilliantly done, VIRTUAL HEAVEN is a must for fans of fantasy and recommended for anyone else seeking something new and exciting. SENSUAL (May, 398 pp., $5.99) A

Reviewed by: 
Anne Black