I love me a good time-slip novel, and Susanna Kearsley writes some of the best. This one involves an archeological dig of a site that may have belonged to the lost IX legion. Since no one has any idea where the IX Legion served, southern Scotland is as likely as anywhere. This particular site is a private dig, paid for by a wealthy man. His grandson sees and hears things that may be Latin, and an individual he calls the Sentinel.
This is the framework for this romance between a female archeologist and a local man, and seeing how they work it all out is part of the fun of a Kearsley novel.
Ahh, love me a good time-slip novel, and Kearsley delivers like nobody else.
Eva returns to Cornwall, to her friends there, to scatter the ashes of her beloved sister. She stays to help build a tearoom. Searching for a hook to lure tourists to this out-of-the-way place, she discovers the legend of a ‘Grey Lady’ who haunts the location and a couple of smugglers who once operated nearby. Throwing herself into the project, she is startled to find her surrounding dissolve into a mist and finds herself 300 years or so into the past. Unable to control her comings and goings, she is set off balance by her passing back and forth between the two times. Then there’s Daniel, a most attractive smuggler in the past.
Kearsley is a mistress of suspense and holds the reader in her hand. We want Eva to have her HEA, but how she manages it is a delightful surprise. I could barely put the book down it was that good.
This was a nostalgic read for me, as I first encountered Poul Anderson in high school. I decided to read it to see if it held up over time. For the most part it did. The story of Holger Carlson, a Danish engineer wounded fighting the Nazis is transported back in time to fight the forces of Chaos. Known as Ogier the Dane, he is the champion of Law. His shield bears three hearts and three lions, and he is famous. Although he knows nothing of this land or its problems, he immediately aligns himself with the forces of Law against Chaos.
The part I remember best is the saying ‘Bare is brotherless back,’ and I have encountered it many times in various forms over the years. Holger finds that in spite of the fact he is literally brotherless, he has allies in the fight against Chaos. Some are human, and some are magical. Alienora the swan maiden is especially appealing.
A champion for all times, we could use his like today as the forces of Chaos rise again.