Lisa T. Bergren
Berkley, Sept 22007, $23.95, 416 pp.
In the year 1340, the Gifted, those chosen by God to spread Christ’s word among the masses and endowed with divine powers, are in Venice looking for clues to where the Lord wants them to go next. The group consists of the healer Lady Daria d’Angelo; Sir Gianni whose gift is faith; Hasani has visions; and Father Piero known for his wisdom and Tessa who has discernment and knows who is good and who is evil.
They are pursued by Lord Abramo Amidei who worships the forces of darkness and sacrifices children on the altar of his god. He intends to capture and convert the Gifted or destroy them; his plan is to separate them so that they do not have each other to rely on when he tortures them into doubting their beliefs. While the Gifted search for a glass map, a piece of which is hidden in the seven churches of Venice, Cardinal Boreli observes them as he hopes to use them to bring the papacy back to full power when he becomes the pope. Daria is captured and taken to Abramo’s prison where he tortures her: hoping to break her spirit. The rest of the Gifted mount a rescue, but it will take a miracle from God to free her from that darkness.
By books end, the Gifted knows where they are needed next, a place that is anathema to them yet their faith is so strong they don’t doubt God’s will and obey him even though they are heading into more troubles. The Gifted are good and honorable but circumstances sometimes causes them to have doubts. Abramo is a fully developed villain who is the sworn enemy of the Gifted and will do whatever is necessary to convert or kill them. Lisa T. Bergren has written an exciting thriller that is full of surprises and confrontations between good and evil.