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Magic's Design    by Cat Adams order for
Magic's Design
by Cat Adams
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Under their new pseudonym, Cat Adams, the prolific and versatile writing team of C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp present the first instalment of another distinctive series. This time pysanky eggs (Ukrainian painted eggs) create an enchanting lead in to a tale that's filled with a magical blend of contemporary and high fantasy adventure and romance.

As the story begins, Mila Penkin is pleased she's sold more of her painstakingly created pysanky eggs - she's been working very hard to help her Baba (grandmother) make ends meet in increasingly hard times. Her Baba also seems more hung up than usual on her fairytales about a magical Guilder Society whose members guard against dark magicians intent on enslaving humanity. No one is more shocked than Mila when her Baba's stories come true.

Talos Onan was born into the mage guild of firecrafters and is currently an agent of the Overworld Police. He and his partner, Alexy Duvrot, are present during the escape of their realm's most dangerous criminal, Vegre. In an act of desperation, they latch onto the criminal's power and follow him into another realm. All of them are drawn to Mila and it is she who uses her newfound powers to heal a severely injured Alexy. It's here that Mila finally realises that the dark dreams she's been experiencing were a portent of these very events. She also realises that her grandmother's countless stories were her way of preparing her granddaughter for her destiny while awaiting the arrival of her life mate, Talos, the only Guilder who can fully unlock her potential. Now Mila and Talos must work together and fine-tune their talents, for only through their love and combined power can they stop Vegre from destroying the Sacred Tree of Life.

Magic's Design is another enjoyable and involving romantic fantasy showcasing an equally intricate world and the Guilder Society. Talos and Mila play well off each other as they discover and forge their love and destiny. The story does tend to stray at times with more exposition than is necessary, but Mila and Talos eventually save the day.

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