Friday, July 01, 2011

MYSTICAL WARRIOR by Janet Chapman

MYSTICAL WARRIOR – Janet Chapman
Midnight Bay Series, Book 3
Pocket Star
ISBN: 978-1-4391-5990-3
July 2011
Paranormal Romance/Fantasy

Midnight Bay, Maine; the Present

In my review of book one, MOONLIGHT WARRIOR, I wrote: Kenzie Gregor was once a strong warrior in eleventh-century Scotland until an evil witch changed him into a panther. Even his brother Matthew, a powerful drùidh wizard, couldn’t make him human again. However, when Matt needed to travel to modern Maine to meet his soulmate among the time-traveled MacKeage family of TarStone Mountain (see the wonderful six volume Highlander series), Kenzie went with him. While there, Kenzie discovered how to break the curse and become a man again. Now, under cover of establishing an animal sanctuary, he plans to help other such misplaced souls become human again. He chooses Midnight Bay on the Maine coast as his area of operation.

Among the trapped souls to be released is Kenzie and Matt’s sister Fiona, whose life in the eleventh-century was a tragedy. She “died,” but her soul inhabited the body of a red-tailed hawk for centuries until she was freed into the twenty-first. Fiona came into the modern world fearing and hating men. Her brothers decide she needs to face the world on her own, but, at the same time, they want her to be safe, so they convince a friend to rent her the upstairs apartment in his old farmhouse near town. Trace Huntsman is a native of Midnight Bay. He’s home now from Afghanistan and spends all day on the water fishing for lobsters. His childhood was not a happy one, nor was his experience with women. He’s no more happy to have one of them foisted on his solitude than Fiona is living so near a rugged man.

The gradual changes made by these two will both tug your heartstrings and amuse you. He can’t stand having his peace and home disrupted; she can’t help cleaning and “organizing.” Or accumulating livestock.

The domestic conflicts Fiona and Trace face, however, are nothing compared to the challenges from outside. Another being has come to Midnight Bay and brought troubles with him on the winds of fierce storms. Maximilian Oceanus is a refugee from Atlantis, that mythical continent sunk beneath the sea. Mac has his own brand of magic; he’s not a drùidh; he prefers theurgist (I had to look it up.) but will answer to wizard. Mac becomes an uninvited guest at Trace’s. (He’s allergic to drùidh magic, so can’t fight from the Gregors’ places.) Mac has a terrible enemy, identity and motive unknown.

Some other characters of note are Matt’s and Kenzie’s wives and William Killkenny, a ninth-century Irish warrior, and his sister Gabriella. While this is primarily Fiona and Trace’s story, Max should share equal billing. He’s a most intriguing figure who needs a book of his own.

Ms. Chapman is a wonder. I don’t know how her fertile imagination keeps coming up with unique characters and situations. MYSTICAL WARRIOR is guaranteed to amuse, enchant, and engross both her faithful readers and new ones.

Jane Bowers

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