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Four moon gifSpeculation Press (Trade Paperback), ISBN 0-9671979-4-5
This highly original fantasy took my breath away and came very close to stealing my heart. The unique characters, the interesting premise and the excellent writing, by a very talented author, will measure high by anyone's standards and provide a wonderful fantasy read with a great love story as an added savor.

Born with a rare and dangerous gift -- the ability to see a plethora of possible futures -- Phillipe sees every future but his own. The late duke exiled Phillipe and his father, the old ducal seer. When the irascible old duke dies, his son asks Phillipe to return to the faltering, enemy-ridden court. Phillipe wants to give the young duke good news, but all Phillipe's visions of the coming spring lead to bloodshed and destruction. Except one.

That one happy vision concerns the duke's sister Zuli, and thus can never be. Lady Zuli bears a large port-wine birthmark on her face and body. The court sees this birthmark as a mark of the Goddess's displeasure and tries to ignore her. The seer sees something far different, but Lady Zuli considers him a charlatan and his visions a fabric of lies and trickery. She plans to thwart Phillipe and immediately sets those plans into motion.

Neither hero nor heroine make any pretense to beauty. Zuli's mark covers half of her face. Worn and thin, Phillipe shows the effects of the merleweed, a poisonous plant that he uses to induce the vision trances. Yet the welfare of the duchy spurs both of them on until the inevitable happens and their goals collide and change. But can they join forces to do what must be done?

Marguerite Krause's imagination is exceeded only by her skillful use of language in depicting a land that never existed. She made me willingly accept the time and the place, and care about what happens to her characters. I hope that she will continue to keep me supplied well into the future with more of her sojourns in wonderland.

Patricia Lucas White

Patricia Lucas White's latest historical novel, To Last a Lifetime, was an Eppie finalist for 2003. To Last a Lifetime and two of her fantasy romances, the Sapphire Award-winning A Wizard Scorned and The Godmother Sanction, can be ordered through Hard Shell Word Factory. Her recent contemporary, PS, I've Taken a Lover, is available from Lionhearted Books.

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Pat scooped me on this review, but I agree with her assessment 100 percent. In Blind Vision, Marguerite Krause crafts a beautiful, remarkably clear vision of an alternate medieval history. Her characters live and breathe, and before long you'll find yourself wanting them to restore the duchy's fortunes almost as much as the characters themselves. You'll also root for reluctant lovers Zuli and Phillipe as hard as if they were your dearest friends. Of course, by the end of the book, they are.

Jean Marie Ward

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