Imprisoned in a tower, a wizard’s daughter weaves magical pictorial tapestries.
When the mere sight of the four wall hangings that pale, 16-year-old Anna has woven for the suspicious, controlling Hierophant King—who has kept her in a tower room since birth—results in a death warrant, she cuts out selected swatches and, with help from her friends the Fool, the Magician, and the Hermit, flees over a magical bridge. She finds herself in Cups, a colony of young, beautiful, olive-skinned lotus eaters. There, she connects with hunky James, and the tale drifts into a romantic round of beach parties, swimming lessons, snogging, relationship chess, stylized dialogue, and, ultimately, a shared (if, from all evidence, chaste) bed. Cued by sudden tempests and other signs, she eventually comes to realize that, one, she has herself created these lands and peoples with her weaving and, two, the Hierophant King will be coming after her. Using tarot more as a gimmick than a driver of events, Kennerson (The Family, 2014) seems so taken with the (far from original) notion of basing her settings and cast on suits and cards that she neglects to give anyone, even Anna, a distinctive voice or personality. She also devotes more energy to the mildly steamy “tropical island romance” subplot than the larger conflict—which she summarily and abruptly resolves.
The cards predict a larger audience of romance than fantasy fans. (Romantic fantasy. 14-17)