Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Elisha Rex - E.C. Ambrose

Elisha Rex
E.C. Ambrose
DAW, Jul 7 2015, $7.99
ISBN: 9780756409272

In fourteenth century England, Elisha Barber had been a surgeon who cut hair and treated the wounds of the impoverished.  However, the deaths of his brother and his sibling’s family led to his pleading guilty to a charge of fratricide and eventually to Brigit the herbalist.  She persuaded Elisha that he is an untrained magus who she began mentoring.  He eventually killed King Hugh followed by other royal intrigue involving King Alaric and defeating Morag. Abetted by Alaric’s recently crowned brother King Thomas, Elisha fakes his death and flees to the Isle of Wight where the watery circumference protects him from enemy mages who want him dead.  Only Mordecai knows of his self-exile.

Lord Robert arrives and is shocked to find the late martyred Elisha alive.  He explains to Elisha that King Thomas and Queen Rosalynn vanished.  Knowing he must return to London to insure the safe return of the good rulers, Elisha fears the necromantic cabal who want to exploit his skills especially his link to Death.  Nevertheless, what frightens him much more is he barely defeated Morag; so believes in his heart he has no chance against this evil’s Master and Chaos (and the French) who might reign supreme.

The third Dark Apostle medieval fantasy (see Elisha Magus and Elisha Barber) is an electrifying tale in which the ethical hero prefers to remain in hiding, but believes he must save the king and his country even at the cost of his life.  Once again E.C. Ambrose uses fourteenth century England and the French-Papal alliance as a dark backdrop to a taut captivating historical fantasy.

Harriet Klausner 

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