Thursday, January 17, 2008

Stronger Than Magic, H. Cullman

Stronger Than Magic was written by Heather Cullman and published by Topaz in 1997. I found STM on a list of fairy or fantasy related romances. I can't remember exactly which site, most likely All About Romance. A list of Ms. Cullman's work can be found HERE.

Alys Faire has been trapped in the fairy world trying to earn her way back to life within the mortal realm. Back in the day she was the proverbial "fairest of them all"- but she was also shallow, vain and manipulative and contributed to the death of the fairy king's son. As punishment she must learn her lesson and she can return to the mortal world. Alys is one hell of a slow learner, because she's been stuck with the fairies for five hundred years.

Finally she gets a turn on earth playing matchmaker for one Lucian Warre, Marquess of Thistlewood. Echoes of Alys' original misdeed echo down through time as Lucian's suffering is a direct result of Alys' previous behavior. It's payback time for little Alys. Lucian is a decorated soldier just back from the War. As such he's a little of a control freak, a little rigid and very much a difficult case for a matchmaker. At least, I would think so. Alys, however, figures this couldn't be so hard- decorated war hero, wealthy. No prob. right? The matchmaking mamas in London will be all over him.

Naturally anything involving the Faeries is more complicated than it first appears. I was pleased to see that both Lucian and Alys evolve into better people. Alys most especially. I thought Alys' sidekick Hedley Bragg was a riot. Every main character needs a buddy who deliberately messes everything up and yet also one who's there for him/her when the chips are down. This being a romance the requisite HEA is there. Stronger Than Magic will make it onto the temporary keeper shelves and I'll likely read it again before the end of the year to see of I still want to keep it.

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