Murderous attacks in England’s Fen country call for every skill an apprentice healer can conjure up.
Lassair, who has been working with her healer aunt, is preparing to return to Cambridge, where she’s studying with the wizard Gurdyman, when a series of attacks on her family members by an enormous redheaded man rock the peaceful village of Aelf Fen. Fearing for her safety, Lassair’s father escorts her to Cambridge. But when, mistakenly thinking the danger over, she decides to return for a visit home by herself, she’s kidnapped and taken to Iceland. Although Lassair has already had visions of a Viking ship, and Gurdyman has shown her a map he is creating of the known world in the 11th century, she’s amazed to find herself in one of those faraway places. Upon her arrival, she is surprisingly well-treated, and as the leader, Thorfinn Ofnirson, gets to know her, he slowly reveals what the redheaded killer is searching for and why he believes it has been hidden by someone in her family. Meanwhile, Lassair’s lover, Rollo, is on another spy mission for King William. From Sicily, he senses her danger but can only worry. Lassair must count on Thorfinn to take her back home to find the magical object and help end a family feud that involves her far more closely than she could have imagined.
The latest in Clare’s Aelf Fen series (The Way Between the Worlds, 2012, etc.) is one of her best, charmingly combining romance, mystery and mysticism.