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Crescent Blues Book ViewsImaJinn Books (Trade Paperback), ISBN 1-893896-90-0
In a world where most people fear magic and magic users, Jinissa goes against her better judgment and uses her talents to save a boy's life. The townspeople promptly seize her, try her, and sentence her to a public flogging and execution -- with an additional charge of spying. Seconds before the lashing, Lord Stephan arrives and demands the townspeople release her into his custody. The king wants to question her about her native land and its people.

Book: Deborah Donnelly, Died to MatchTo reach the king, the pair must travel over a high mountain pass, and both snow and wolves impede their progress. As circumstances force them to live in close quarters, attraction develops between Stephen and his prisoner, despite Stephan's hatred of Calavrians, Jinissa's race. Wolves severely injure Stephan when the two can't reach shelter in time, and he gives her the key to unlock the metal band around her throat which keeps her magical powers in check. To save him, Jinissa hauls him into a nearby shrine, a cave where ancient power was bound centuries ago. With guidance from the power, Jinissa magically heals Stephan, and the pair complete the journey a few days after the attack.

By now deeply in love with Jinissa, Stephan offers her freedom as they near the castle. But true to the promise she made when he agreed to release her power, Jinissa refuses to flee. She bravely faces the threat of meeting King Randell, torture and possible execution.

The ending of the book falls a bit flat. Randell indeed wants information, but not to attack the Calavrians. His true motives blatantly set up a possible sequel, though the political intrigue that would produce sounds juicy.

Probably the cutest bit in the book is Flame, Jinissa's elemental companion whenever she does not wear the metal magic-blocking collar. Flame provides a bit of levity under the somber threat of Jinissa's unhappy fate.

Jen Foote

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