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 Historical novel, with dabs of mysticism and dashes of the occult, exploring the events behind the American Revolution, from the author of the well-known Deryni fantasy series (The Bastard Prince, 1994, etc.). In 1775, George Washington falls from his horse and, as he lies stunned, experiences a vision of a Masonic ritual involving a sword and, astonishingly, a woman, that will remain with him throughout his career--a vision sent from Europe by the Master, an ageless manipulator known as the Comte de Saint- Germain. Unknown to Washington, who's soon to be elected commander- in-chief of the Continental Army, the Master and his disciples are secret Jacobites, dedicated to winning the crown of America for Charles Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie). Major Simon Wallace serves Washington, while his father, Andrew, serves the Master. Simon sends his wife Arabella's brother, Justin Carmichael, with letters to the Master; Justin returns with a glass eye for Andrew (a present from Charles Stuart--Andrew lost the original fighting in the failed rebellion of 1745) and a moonstone, which enables the Master to form a psychic link with Andrew and observe events in America firsthand. Later, Arabella accidentally overhears one of the Freemasons' secret rituals and so must be inducted into the Brotherhood herself (the only woman to be so). Thus, five years later, after the expected historical events have occurred, the ritual of Washington's strange vision may be fulfilled in actuality. The movers and shakers of the American Revolution were, in fact, almost to a man, Freemasons and mystics--as a glance at the Great Seal will readily attest; and Kurtz patiently teases out the story behind the story, adding reasonable speculations to the historical characters and details. Should raise a few eyebrows.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-553-07562-4
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Spectra/Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1995


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