Where Else? (Adam Frayn Trilogy Book 2)

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A tangle of facial hair continues to hide an evident identity, a "terrible secret force" emerges from the railroad tracks, a small boy makes not one but several excursions into the dangerous night. And then the curtain quickly falls: Stephen never plays with Keith again, he never returns to their lair in the overgrown bushes of the bombed house, he never attempts to deliver a silk aviator's scarf entrusted to him, along with some words of undying love.

Nor, to this reader's disappointment, does his tour of his boyhood neighborhood encounter any human survivors of that remote time. Such tours, in my own experience, usually do, and in literature they are almost obliged to: Odysseus is recognized by the ancient dog, Argos, who was a puppy when he left; Captain Ryder discovers Nanny Hawkins still ensconced in her top-floor room at Brideshead; Mickey Sabbath, in Philip Roth's "Sabbath's Theater," comes upon Cousin Fish still alive, though "a mere mist of a man. Keith's old house, still named Chollerton, is kept up by someone's fanatic hands: "The mellow red brick is still well-pointed, the woodwork of the window frames and gables and garage doors as flawlessly white as when Mr.

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Hayward used to paint them himself, in white overalls as clean as the paintwork, whistling, whistling, from morning to night. Stephen does not knock at the door, and when, further along the street, he sees "a white-haired old lady" kneeling to weed what had been the Berrills' front garden, he fights a recognition:. She glances up at me and I suddenly realize, with the most terrible jolt of recognition, of hope and dismay, that it's Barbara.

She looks indifferently at me for a moment and then returns to her weeding. It's not Barbara. Of course it's not. I don't think it is. Stephen is not seeking a companion survivor of time, to illuminate those distant events. He revolves them within himself, aided only by local geography, changed and unchanged. In this, "Spies" differs from Ian McEwan's recent, in some ways similarly backward-looking novel "Atonement," and from Harry Mulisch's even more similar "The Assault" , wherein subsequent revelations, over the years, change the meaning of a violent wartime night in a Dutch enclave of four houses.

Stephen became, he tells us, a searcher after reality; his English marriage "was never quite a real marriage," and his job teaching engineering in the local polytechnic "never quite a real job. Aside from the understated tact and ingenuity of its mystery plot, Frayn's novel excels in its rendering of the power of early impressions, a power that fetishizes and eternalizes such modest phenomena as certain vague smells, certain details of dress coded with signs of class and origin, certain sounds betraying the life in other houses, certain coveted elegancies like the "jug covered by a lace weighted with four blue beads" in which Mrs.

Beside Your Heart by Mary Whitney. Late one night, Nicki Johnson plays with emotional fire and Googles her high school love, only to find his name splashed across the British gossip columns. Back in his native England, Adam Kincaid is successful and dating a woman from an aristocratic family like his own. With a career in With a career in politics, Nicki's no slouch, but she knows Adam is living a world away from her life.

Yet there was a time he was no farther than the next locker. Nicki will never forget their year together in high school-the year of her sister's death, the year her mother checked out. Adam helped Nicki through suffocating grief, and she led him through coming of age. But when is a high school crush something more? The threat of war between Witches and Vampires means England may no longer be safe for a young Witch.

Hence, Miss Violet Popplewell is sent abroad under the watchful eye of her great-aunt Vera. Without so much as a bon voyage party, Violet finds herself a visitor to the city-state of X, a Without so much as a bon voyage party, Violet finds herself a visitor to the city-state of X, a mysterious place where magic is used openly and Witches and Vampires live together in harmony.

Or at least, they try to get along. An outburst of hostilities in X thrusts Violet into the young Vampire? And, much to her dismay, she realizes she may have accidentally bewitched him with a love charm. Are the emotions that the Vampire feels true passion or just a slip of the wand? Horde Razorland, Bk 3 by Ann Aguirre. The horde is coming. Salvation is surrounded, monsters at the gates, and this time, they're not going away. When Deuce, Fade, Stalker and Tegan set out, the odds are against them. But the odds have been stacked against Deuce from the moment she was born.

She might not be a Huntress She might not be a Huntress anymore, but she doesn't run. With her knives in hand and her companions at her side, she will not falter, whether fighting for her life or Fade's love. Ahead, the battle of a lifetime awaits. Freaks are everywhere, attacking settlements, setting up scouts, perimeters, and patrols. There hasn't been a war like this in centuries, and humans have forgotten how to stand and fight.

Unless Deuce can lead them. This time, however, more than the fate of a single enclave or outpost hangs in the balance. This time, Deuce carries the banner for the survival of all humanity. Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck's reign, and forget anything bad ever happened.

But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle -- disguised and alone -- to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past. Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign.

And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn't yet identified, holds a key to her heart. Resistance Replica, Bk 2 by Jenna Black. Nate Hayes is a Replica. Now, after weeks spent attempting to solve his own murder with the help of his best friend and betrothed, Nadia Lake, Nate has found the answers he was seeking The original Nate was killed because he knew a secret that could change everything. Unfortunately, neither of them fully understands just how deep the conspiracy runs. Reckless by Priscilla West. The rippling muscles covered in tatts, the piercing eyes hiding dark secrets, the silky voice that could make a girl The rippling muscles covered in tatts, the piercing eyes hiding dark secrets, the silky voice that could make a girl come with just a whisper.

Things happened. I got upset. I got hasty. And worst of all, I got reckless. But what I didn't know was that I'd started something. Cherished by Kelly Elliott. Jessie Rhodes has been in love with Scott Reynolds for most of her life. But he ran away from her once, leaving her heartbroken. When they find their way back to one another, things seem to fall into place, and they begin to plan their future together? Until Scott?

With yet another broken heart, it is Jessie? During her retreat, she meets an intriguing man, and they form a bond that makes Jessie question everything. When he finally discovers where Jessie has been hiding, he also learns of her new relationship. Will deceit tear them apart? Or can Jessie and Scott survive their mistakes and choose to love and to cherish? Cherished is the fourth book in the Wanted series. Running from her past.


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Infatuated with her boss. Risking it all. A one night stand with her sexy boss. Trinity Collins knew it was never a good idea to mix business with pleasure, especially while fighting the demons from her past. Yet, she did it anyway. Now, after her one-night-stand, Trinity Now, after her one-night-stand, Trinity is forced to resists his attempts to make it a regular occurrence and somehow maintain professionalism, a difficult task to juggle -both a personal and business relationship. When Trinity keeps denying him his desire, he only wants her even more. Stakes are raised and Trinity? When Trinity and her baby are threatened, Laszlo discovers just how far he?

Lauren had been raised to not be afraid of anything, and she lived by that code, that is until her dad died and left everything in her hands. Now she's not only in charge of her two younger sisters, but she's running a full-blown Texas ranch. Caring for a thousand-acre ranch has its ups and Caring for a thousand-acre ranch has its ups and downs, physically, mentally, and financially. All she is looking for is a little break. What she doesn't have time for is someone who will only complicate her life further.

Chase is back in his hometown. Helping his dad with his veterinary practice is high on his list. So is being with the lovely Lauren West. Years ago, he found a unique way to bind them together. Now all he has to do is prove to her that he's the right man to spend the rest of her life with. Book 1 of The Unspoken Series Ella and Matthew have many differences, but they share a common goal: to find the one person they are meant to spend their lives with.

Years ago, Ella Rhodes looked across a crowded cafe and saw the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. She left her She left her number, but he never called. Wondering if he somehow missed the note on the back of the receipt, she spent her twenties waiting for this man to walk into her life again. After all this time, will Ella finally discover? Or, after being sent on various blind dates, will she give her heart to someone else? Meanwhile, Matthew Ryan breaks up with his long-time girlfriend.

Searching his heart he wonders if there is really a? Where does Lydia, the girl who would do anything for him, fit into the story of his life? Confused, Matthew sets out to explore his options and find the love he? Will he find love before it? In December of , when she was a junior in high school, Emi Hennigan discovered her father's infidelity.

Forced to transfer schools mid-year, she wasn't trying to make new friends. In that same month, sophomore Nate Wilson's girlfriend broke up with him. Searching for someone to fill the void Searching for someone to fill the void left by his first love, he meets Emi in his art class. Nate knows he wants Emi from the moment he sees her.

Emi knows she needs Nate after one night together. A life-long friendship is born, and a pact is made to ensure that nothing will come between them. Broken Reflections Volume 1 by Dean Murray. Adri Paige is too busy dealing with the emotional fallout from losing half of her family to deal with boys. At least she thought so until the two most intriguing guys in her new school take an interest in her. Both boys are gorgeous and blessed with obscene amounts of money.

They should have They should have the emotional depth of note cards, but instead display undercurrents she doesn't fully understand. Rumors the pair destroys peoples' livelihoods seem ludicrous until she gets caught in the crossfire and her family almost loses their home. She's increasingly unsure either boy is really human, and their rivalry is rapidly turning deadly.

Broken is a , word YA Paranormal Romance and is a complete novel in its own right, but also represents one-half of a double novel when paired with Torn. Regardless of which book you start with, the two are designed such that you can continue on to the other in order to get answers to questions not answered in the book you started with. The series continues with Splintered. After getting involved with Dylan, the bad boy of the Dixon High Swim team, Charley decides to stay close to home for college.

It's just safer that way. Later, she realizes it's a mistake, just like dating Dylan. She decides to put the past behind her and leave the small hick town of Grassy She decides to put the past behind her and leave the small hick town of Grassy Pond. There is only one problem; she makes this decision three weeks before the fall semester begins.

Charley packs up her Honda and heads to Southern College. On the morning she's about to leave, Cash walks back into her life. She leaves her farm in Grassy Pond with all kinds of "what if" questions. Charley decides to live her college career to the fullest. She finds a great group of friends, joins the swim team, and meets a guy named Joe.

He's got eyes that make ya wanna melt! At college, she encounters a new problem. Charley has been away from home for only forty-eight hours before she breaks the two promises she made to herself. Will she be able to overcome her past? Find new love? What will happen with Cash now that he is back in her life? Will she find what she is wanting in Jackalope Joe? How will her first semester of college end? Joe, Cash, or alone? After all, she's barely met the two men it could be referring to. But as she begins to fall for the man with the striking blue eyes, the disturbing messages But as she begins to fall for the man with the striking blue eyes, the disturbing messages increase.

He Loves Me Not does not contain any profanity, but does contain mild sensuality kissing. Life is random Her mom is dead, and she's on her own, patching together a living as a waitress when a car crashes through the restaurant where she works. In two seconds, she loses her job, watches her best friend hauled In two seconds, she loses her job, watches her best friend hauled away in an ambulance Both for the good and the bad Within days, Jess is swept up into the mesmerizing force that is Tyler.

Their every touch sizzles, every kiss dissolves them both, and the sex is But there's more to Tyler than his hypnotic eyes. He's adrift, too, and his body--and his soul--are covered with scars.

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How can she find herself with a guy who is lost himself? Until you take charge Jess is determined to find her way, and make a life that is better than the one she was given. But how? Patriotic Duty by C. Newly divorced party girl Cara Reid just wants to have fun. Much too young to even be a divorcee, she and her bestie, Miranda, set off to have fun and maybe a few casual hookups and live life.

One night at a military bar, Cara meets Riley Forrester, a hot Army soldier who makes her melt with one One night at a military bar, Cara meets Riley Forrester, a hot Army soldier who makes her melt with one look of his deep ocean blue eyes. But Riley is only staying the summer in California and then has to go back to Colorado when it's over.

Cara tells herself he? But when Riley receives orders he wasn? What she wasn't expecting was to fall so hard for the beautiful soldier boy, and now she's faced with accepting her feelings or letting him go. Contains adult content. For readers 18 and up. College senior, Lexi Thompson, finds herself in a relationship to be wed to the university? When she? I am the man who can find anything or anyone. For a price. And my price is you.?

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When Mia Turner? But when But when she? Others might be fooled by his private jet, fine tailored suits, and disarming smile, but Mia knows something dark, sinister, and unnatural lurks behind those penetrating, pale-gray eyes. And the more she learns, the more she realizes she may never be free again. I was born into this world unwanted. I spent the first hours of my life unloved. I spent the first eighteen years of my life with the parents who tried to shelter me from the harsh reality of my I spent the first eighteen years of my life with the parents who tried to shelter me from the harsh reality of my existence.

But you can? So I moved out and now I hide. I have a night job that pays the bills. Every night, I put on my mask and walk to work. Then one night, I hear and see something that will change my purpose in life He says he wants to protect me. And, through a series of events I can? But our nightly visits are always cloaked in darkness.

I don? I will leave this world unmasked. Rebecca hasn't seen or heard from her mob boss father in four years, but she's about to receive a message from him that will throw her life into chaos. Rebecca thought she left the crime family Rebecca thought she left the crime family behind when she went into law enforcement. She never expected to be abducted by a sexy stranger. But this stranger makes an offer too tempting to refuse and soon Rebecca is pulled into one of the most ruthless vendettas of the century. What most don't know about Knox is that a large portion of his wealth is made helping high-profile criminals escape justice.

He makes no judgments about guilt or innocence. And he doesn't do it for sentimental reasons. But he's about to take on a case that is going to get very personal. Holding You Volume 1 by Jewel E. Deep breath? I am peaceful, I am strong. Free-spirited Addy Brecken is Milwaukee? She has a genius IQ, a padded savings account, an amazing view of Lake Michigan, and a heart that won? I am peaceful, I am An early April morning finds her drowning in the seductive fragrance of lilacs and the warmth of the morning sun when she?

The peaceful existence she? A successful, Latino businessman from New York, Quinn has a taste for the finer things in life. A typical playboy, he has the money, the houses, the cars, and the women. Quinn is everything Addy avoids. Where she lives simply and prefers to help the less fortunate, he has no problem spending an obscene amount of money on a briefcase.


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  • Their opposite personalities lend to several heated encounters, and Addy finds herself propositioning Quinn for the one thing she never imagined needing? Offering only her body, Addy tries to keep Quinn at a safe distance from her heart and a world away from her past. Their passion-filled connection makes Addy feel something unfamiliar, alive. But with passion comes more feelings: anger, jealousy, love. When Addy surrenders to the unimaginable and lets go of her past, she?

    Every sacrifice has consequences. Sixteen-year-old Rowan has spent most of his life living among the mortals? When he finally returns to Avalon for his coronation, When he finally returns to Avalon for his coronation, his mother insists he must first prove his loyalty to the court by completing a secret mission: Kill Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king.

    Willing to do anything to remove his mother from power, he agrees to sacrifice the halfling. He returns to the mortal world with his best friend, Marcus, determined to kill the princess. But as he devises a plan, he starts to question whether or not he's capable of completing such a heinous task. And what price he will pay if he refuses?

    Crush by Lacey Weatherford. Cami Wimberley has a plan, and that plan includes no room for boys? Everything is perfect. Hunter Wilder does not want a girlfriend? He especially doesn? He tries to keep her at arms length, but fate seems to keep pushing them together. Before long, it? As sparks begin to fly, Hunter finds himself sinking deeper and deeper into hot water.

    Soon he? They go for supermodels and actresses, skinny-girls who never eat and They go for supermodels and actresses, skinny-girls who never eat and spend all day working out. I'm not that girl. So when he locked his fiery brown eyes on me for the first time, I couldn't quite believe it was really happening to me. It was the second night I spent with him that I'll never forget. It was only one night, one delicious, sinful night, but it awakened something within me, and now, with him gone, I have no one to satiate my sudden, ferocious hunger.

    Then I woke up one day and looked at someone near and dear to me in a whole new light. And my world was rocked once again. Going to New York City to be with gorgeous, mysterious, rockstar Chase Delany seemed like a crazy dream, a fantasy come true. The bright lights and music, and his tight, sexy leather pants called to me Chase might want more and I just might give it to him, if I could only forget what I started with Jeff back in Detroit.

    I thought I had my love life all figured out, I thought I knew what I wanted, and then things went and changed on me all over again Foremost in my mind was whether Jeff would even see me after the colossal mess that New York turned out to be. I discovered the answer, but that only spawned even more questions, many of the yes or no variety Contains super hot, one-on-one sex between two great characters.

    Shattered Promises Volume 1 by Jessica Sorensen. For twenty-one year-old Gemma, life has never been normal. She knows nothing about her past and has been haunted by the same monsters in her nightmares for the last few months. Unemotional and numb to life, she feels disconnected from everyone. Until the very first day she cries. After that, After that, nothing in her life is the same. Her emotions slowly surface and she starts experiencing love, happiness, and anger, feelings she never knew existed.

    But they leave her confused and she doesn? Her life only gets more complicated when she meets Alex. Sexy, arrogant, and secretive, Alex can get under Gemma? Yet she? In her nightmares. Every part of Gemma? But the closer she gets, the more she realizes Alex knows more about her than he originally let on. As secrets about her past unravel, Gemma?

    She needs to figure out what? But the only person she can turn to for answers is the one person she isn? Each has contributed a new short stories or missing scenes from their most popular series for this very worthy cause. Amanda Todd Amanda Todd was a young girl who was lured into a bad decision by a cyber-stalker and then mercilessly targeted online and in real life over and over again, until it became too much for her to handle and she ended her life in October of She wanted to help other kids by sharing her story and letting them know they should never be punished for who they are or for making a mistake.

    If you are being bullied, please stay strong and get help. Someone does care. Lessons in Love Volume 1 by Clarissa Carlyle. The Lessons in Love series follows the story of high school cheerleader Alex Heron.

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    She's pretty, blonde and popular. Alex seems to have it all, but she's hiding a dark secret from her past that threatens to destroy her future. Only the He wants to help Alex overcome her past, but will their developing feelings for each other get in the way? Connell: Some call me a party girl. People see me as happy, full of life, with absolutely no cares in the world People see me as happy, full of life, with absolutely no cares in the world.

    They see what I want them to see. But no one knows me - really knows me. Not even Noah Reese. Perfect is always watching me, most likely judging every single imperfect thing I do. But, if Noah wants to keep an eye on me, that? I definitely don? I just hope he doesn? And I? Noah Reese: Perfect. Perfect grades. Perfect manners. Perfect athlete. Perfect SAT scores. Perfect college. And recently, I was accepted into the perfect med school.

    My future has already been mapped out for me and there? Not even Tatum O? That girl is out of control, yet for some reason, I can? I watch her closely, hoping that one day she? I have a feeling I? Recovery by L. I have the perfect life. I fought through the loss of one husband, lucky enough to be given a second chance at a lifetime of happiness. Settling into our new lives, however, may not be as easy as it seems. What really happens after the fairytale ending? What happens after the prince rescues the princess?

    After he sweeps her off her feet and carries her off into the sunset? Do they truly live happily ever after? This is our story. Running on Empty by L. I had the perfect life. Beautiful and loving husband. Three gorgeous little girls. Successful career. The only thing missing was the white picket fence. I really wanted that fence. Three years ago, I lost that life.

    I lost my husband. And I lost myself. But, eventually, I found my way through But, eventually, I found my way through the darkness. I have my girls, and that? They are my world. I have no illusions of ever falling in love again or getting whisked away on a white horse. But then he came back into my life.

    On a freakin? Absolutely no way. The question is? How long can I keep pretending that I? Kate's life sucks. She's tending bar at a run-down dive. Her immoral boss fondles every co-ed within reach. The clientele is made up of TV-glazed zombies, drunkards, and The Thunderbolt Hits. Get A Copy.

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    Kindle Edition , pages. More Details The Arthur Quartet 2. Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Dragon's Tale , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jan 06, Eugenia rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy , favorite-authors , historical , holiday , military , mm , own , uk. Hauntingly beautiful!

    Harper Fox always manages to make the setting of any story she writes as tangible as her characters. This is the second book in her Arthur Trilogy. I strongly recommend reading the first in the series, else this one will make but little sense. After a three year separation, Lance and Arthur reunite in the north. Arthur is seeking an allegiance with stubborn kings from the north while stamping out raids. This one moved along much faster than the first, and had that mystic Hauntingly beautiful! This one moved along much faster than the first, and had that mysticism of the first one.

    Here we meet Merlin and the dragon. Just do yourself the favor of reading this lovely trilogy third book due in March Apr 17, Cristina rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , historical-fiction , lgbtq , queer. Lance and Arthur, already well rounded and fleshed out in the first book of the quartet, become here even more compelling and interesting. Lance is a crucial balance point for Arthur's more volatile personality and provides support, focus and affection to Art, the young headstrong king who's A beautiful continuation to When First I Met My King, Harper Fox's The Dragon's Tale follows the adventures of Lance and Arthur in the military fort of Din Guardi and their growing bond and relationship.

    Lance is a crucial balance point for Arthur's more volatile personality and provides support, focus and affection to Art, the young headstrong king who's still struggling to grow fully into his enormous responsibilities. There are many things happening in the novel, from shape-shifting dragons to betrayals, from epic battles to mysterious maidens appearing from the depths of the earth. Each of these episodes is essential in building the complex tapestry that provides the background to the more personal and intimate story of Arthur and Lancelot.

    The novel's constant references to Arthurian mythology blend perfectly well with the writer's take on this famous set of stories and characters and I loved the way my memory was challenged by all the names, locations and events. I do feel, however, that my vague recollection of certain episodes might result in some confusion that could hinder my full appreciation of the great work done by Fox here. My decision, therefore, is to take a little step back, do some Arthurian revision and then go back to these books from the very beginning. I hope, in the meantime, that we'll also have a release date for the final novel in the series!

    Jan 03, Ulysses Dietz rated it it was amazing. Fox pulls us back into the strange, bleak world between the crumbling Roman empire and rise of Great Britain, when the surviving Romanized Britons, huddled on the northern borders of Britannia, are at the mercy of invading Picts, Scots and Anglians. Here we met Tertius, third son of a local tribal king, known as Lance, and Artorius, illegitimate son of a Briton king, whom prophecy foretells to be the king who will turn the fractious tribes of this island realm into a united kingdom.

    After three years of separation, Lance receives an urgent message that Arthur is hurt and needs him, and flees across the windswept landscape to the Briton border fortress of old King Coel yes, you heard that right. The gorgeous vividness of the language brings this alien world to life, replete with old magic that flares up in unexpected ways in utter disregard of the solemn irrationality of entrenched Roman Christianity. It is riveting, whether she is describing the charms of a sunlit bedroom or the underground terrors of a cliffside keep.

    She has put a new spin on the murky legend of Arthur, who may or may not be based on a real person. It is hard to set a romance in an era when nothing was romantic. Fox has done something remarkably interesting with Guinevere, but I confess that I had hoped somehow that Fox would elude the requirement of heterosexual pairing which lies at the core of all Arthurian legends.

    Dec 06, Bev rated it really liked it Shelves: harper-fox , little-or-no-sex , lgbtq-mm , part-of-a-series-or-serial , urban-fantasy-magic , shortie-underpages. Guenyvere appeared as if by magic [and it really was]!! Of course, for this conflict there must be a resolution in order for the romantic arc to progress, and Fox does not disappoint her readers in reuniting Lance and Arthur before we have a chance to wallow overlong in the grief of their being parted.

    The distance Lance must travel, who he meets along the way, and the time it takes for him to get to Din Guardi is charged with the anxiety and uncertainty of what he will find when he finally gets there. Once he arrives, we are then treated not only to his reunion with his beloved Arthur but to everything which must occur in order to fulfill the dream prophesies and to introduce two characters who are integral to the legend: Merlin and Guinevere. Reviewed by Lisa for The Novel Approach Jan 04, Lena Grey rated it it was amazing.

    Arthur has been calling for Lance for weeks, so, almost out of desperation, Lance is summoned to his side. Although eager to see Arthur again, Lance has no delusions that their relationship will be anything close to the one they had three years ago. Even as far as Lance's remote village, word has spread about Arthur's progress, the battles he has won, and the respect he's earned not only for the battles but also as a fair and wise leader.

    Even before Lance arrives, it's clear to him that Arthur has far too much responsibility on his shoulders, especially for a man so young; but Lance is still eager to see him and hopes that Arthur can find at least some time for him. Lance is wondering how much Arthur has changed in the time they have been apart. All this responsibility has to have changed him. Lance decides to face that hurdle when he gets there. When Lance arrives at Din Guardi, he's immediately recognized. It seems Arthur has talked about Lance and how wonderful he is to the point that almost everyone in court is sick of hearing it.

    Lance is escorted into the chamber where Arthur is in a heated discussion with the surrounding war lords, attempting to press upon them the wisdom of uniting their forces to drive out their common enemy, but there's a great deal of contention. These men have been battling for a very long time and feuds are not easily cast aside, even if it's for the best for everyone involved. Lance and Arthur used to talk about his dream at length; Lance knows how important Arthur's Utopian plan is to him, but Lance is more realistic about the outcome.