I have to say, this is one humdinger of a jump in time. It’s a good thing I was alone in the house when I got to the chapter with the surprise guest. I was surprised, overjoyed and thrilled. I voiced my “WOOHOO!” quite loudly. Then, came the realization of what Ms. Duvall had actually done and I was tickled pink.
I’m going to try to not give any spoilers because the power of discovery would be lost for other readers. It’s going to be so hard though. I’ll just concentrate on the heroine, Alyssa, and the hero, Dillon. They are the focus of all the fun, drama and excitement and carry the story quite solidly.
I have no idea if readers will find my reference obtuse but one of my favorite 80s movies is Krull and the Widow of the Web’s secret name was Lyssa or Alyssa, which reminded me of the heroine in this novel. In the movie, she’s also mysterious, clad in black and ‘knows things’, is considered a seer. So too is the heroine in A Sorceress of His Own. She’s the Wise One, the advisor to Dillon as lord of the keep. But she wants to be so much more to him and knows that can never be. As a plot conflict, unrequited love is quite effective.
Dillon is a man with an open mind which I greatly appreciated. His acceptance of what he eventually must face was refreshing because it was written as natural and thoroughly believable. His defense of his advisor, the woman who he never touches, never sees and never questions in any way when referring to her person, is amazing considering how much of a mystery she was to him for many years. The scene when he yearns for more, when she listens to his deepest heart, when the final moment of trust was sealed in that personal sharing is the turning point in their relationship. Things pick up from there.
The heroine’s love knows no bounds when it comes to Dillon. It takes a toll on her and is reminiscent of the original Star Trek episode, The Empath. There are so many elements of sci-fi fantasy movies woven throughout this tale that I can’t help but enjoy myself and look forward to what else Ms. Duvall will surprise me with.
The villain is easy to spot as he makes no bones about hating Dillon, but he’s a slippery one. He was written effectively and when, how shall I say this, when Allyssa asked Dillon where he was, the hero’s answer was worthy of a Jeff Dunham skit – I laughed out loud, then giggled. As morbid as it was, I found Dillon’s dry recount hilarious.
The only thing that I felt was a bit rushed were the scenes with and about the surprise guest. I can’t say anything further. Perhaps I am greedy for more and because I didn’t get it, I’m pouting. But that’s the only negative I can come up with for this whole novel.
As for secondary characters, wow, are there a lot to be impressed with. Every single one was important and certainly moved the plot along and contributed to my understanding of the hero and heroine’s personalities. Ms. Duvall excels in creating a community feel to her stories and this is no different.
I quite enjoyed my journey in the historical past spiced with the flavor of fantasy and the paranormal. I enjoyed Dillon’s eventual seduction of Alyssa and how very much in love they came to be. It was a hard road, filled with betrayal, sword fights, death, ambushes, and yet there are moments of lightness, joy and familial reconciliation. A love that can weather the storms that batter Dillon and Alyssa as they did surely means they are destined for a solid and secure happy ever after and I couldn’t be happier for them.
If a reader has read Ms. Duvall’s contemporaries but doesn’t usually read historical romances as a rule, I heartily and earnestly recommend giving A Sorceress of His Own a try. You might be delighted by the surprise like I was and add this new series to your must buy book list. I know it’s on mine. A Sorceress of His Own has a wonderful dynamic, an amazing promise of future adventures and a well-told romance that is sure to please. I’m a happy reader.
Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short Reviews. It has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.