At last! Return to the enchanted realm of Alpennia for the eagerly awaited sequel to Daughter of Mystery and The Mystic Marriage.
All her life, Serafina Talarico has searched in vain for a place where she and her mystical talents belong. She never found it in Rome—the city of her birth—where her family’s Ethiopian origins marked them as immigrants. After traveling halfway across Europe to study with Alpennia’s Royal Thaumaturgist, her hopes of finding a home among Margerit Sovitre’s circle of scholars are dashed, for Serafina can perceive, but not evoke, the mystical forces of the Mysteries of the Saints and even Margerit can’t awaken her talents.
When Serafina takes lodgings with Luzie Valorin, widowed music teacher and aspiring composer, both their lives are changed forever. Luzie’s music holds a power to rival the Mysteries, and Serafina alone has the vision to guide her talents. For sorcery threatens the fate of Alpennia—indeed of all of Europe—locking the mountains in a malevolent storm meant to change the course of history. Alpennia’s mystic protections are under attack and the key to survival may lie in the unlikeliest of places: Luzie’s ambition to write an opera on the life of the medieval philosopher Tanfrit.
Gaylactic Spectrum Award
Mother of Souls winner for the Gaylactic Spectrum Best Novel award in 2017.
The Lesbian Review
What Jones did so brilliantly, though, with these returning characters is age them a little and give them personality tweaks which are likely to occur as one goes forward in time. They are still the beloved characters, just a little wiser and more polished by life now. With minor storylines of their own, they remained a captivating bunch to read about. Her characters are perfectly flawed, uniquely individual and beautifully crafted. It may be possible that this book is even more beautifully written than the first two. I cannot help but get absorbed in the words and the storyline that begs to be finished.
This third "Alpennia" book formed a marvelous introduction to this series. Set in the mid-19th Century in an imaginary land somewhere between France and Switzerland, the story has very much the feel of historical fiction in its rich detail and well realized social, economic, religious, and cultural institutions. As in the real world, most women are constrained to be wives and mothers, married for the wealth or political alliances they can bring to their families. Also as in actual history, extraordinary women transcended these boundaries, becoming scholars, artists, writers, scientists, and more. Their lives are often portrayed only in the context of the male-dominated society. In Heather Rose Jones's Alpennia, however, women's lives are central: their complex, richly-imagined relationships, their talents and skills, their resourcefulness and strengths. Yet this is not a "domestic" tale in the sense of smallness of scope; the fate of Alpennia (and its European neighbors) is at stake as the land comes under magical attack, and the key to its defeat lies in the gifts of the women and their ability to work cooperatively. With intelligence and insight, Rose spins a tale of international intrigue, suspense, treachery, and loyalty. "“ Deborah Wheeler