A mythical tale of a struggle between the forces of good and evil--in a slim first novel that engages the reader with its primitive power and conviction. In the beginning there was an old wise woman--called a Fablesinger by the locals--who lived in an isolated house in the Jamaican mountains. Though she is required by local custom to take on a female apprentice to succeed her, pride has kept her from doing so--until a young male Obeah, arrogant representative of evil forces, challenges her for control of her territory. The unwitting future apprentice is a young, college-educated mulatto woman whose odd dreams soon lead her from her father's estate to the distant Fablesinger's house. There, she is initiated into the arts of healing and white magic, forsaking her previous life. Upon the old woman's death, this apprentice goes into battle against the child-killing Obeah, defeating him and his evil-god master for generations to come. Hypnotic as a fairy tale, this story conveys much of the power of a classic myth. The author stumbles briefly when trying to evoke the apprentice's life in the ""real world"" before she meets the Fablesinger, but the voice is sure and strong whenever the myth takes over. An interesting addition to the growing canon of feminist myth.