Maggie Shayne continues her bewitching series of paranormal romances, which began with Eternity and Infinity, with the third book in this captivating saga of immortal witches who battle for love and life. Shayne lends a whole new meaning to the word “timeless” as she spans thousands of years and casts a spell of her own with this mystical blend of romance and fantasy.
Building on characters who were briefly introduced in Infinity, Shayne takes her readers back and forth between present-day Boston and the ancient civilization of Sumer, which existed some 4,500 years ago. Journeying into the past, we meet the young witch Nidaba, a temperamental adolescent who is being raised to assume the role of high priestess among the Sumerian people. Learning at her side is the young prince of Sumer, Eannatum. Both bear the mark of the Immortal High Witches, but neither is aware of their heritage as they are far too busy falling in love. However, the king of Sumer dictates that Eannatum marry Puabi, the princess of neighboring Ur, so that the two may combine their forces to fend off attacks from the nearby land of Umma. What follows is a tragedy of heart-wrenching proportions, the effect of which will last for millennia to come.
In the present, Eannatum is living a quiet, reclusive life as an antique dealer in Boston when he reads a news article about an unknown woman in a nearby mental hospital who went berserk after miraculously surviving a fall from a 40-story building. There is a picture of the woman, and Eannatum is shocked to realize it is Nidaba, who he thought perished in a fire 4,500 years ago. He rescues her and takes her to his home, not knowing that Puabi has also survived all these years and is hot on their trail, crazed for revenge. Puabi’s ability to assume anyone’s likeness makes for several hair-raising moments during the poignant reunion of Nidaba and Eannatum, who are only now fully realizing the strength of their love.
Shayne blends present and past in a seamless narrative marked by a deft sense of pacing, riveting suspense, and some blisteringly hot sex. Her unique blend of history, witchcraft, and passion blurs the boundaries between romance, horror, and fantasy, creating a bewitching bit of literary magic every bit as spellbinding as the High Immortal Witches themselves. (Beth Amos)
Contributing Editor Beth Amos is the author of three novels, including Cold White Fury and Second Sight.