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Gossamyr    by Michele Hauf order for
by Michele Hauf
Order:  USA  Can
Luna, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Last year LUNA introduced Michele Hauf to a wider reading audience with the release of Seraphim, a dark and intriguing tale that deftly melds medieval history and adventure-fantasy. After finishing it, I looked forward to more. While Gossamyr isn't exactly a sequel and has a plot that is lighter and less involved than its predecessor, the storyline is equally enchanting. It follows the adventures of Sera's sister, Gossamyr de Wintershinn. Part mortal, part faery, she embarks on a dangerous quest to save the land of Faery from the evil machinations of 'The Red Lady', a succubus who enslaves faeries who stray too long in the mortal world.

As the tale begins, Gossamyr's father Shinn sends his daughter to the mortal world to find and destroy the Red Lady. Unfortunately, Gossamyr remains ignorant of her true lineage; her father has never told her that her mother was mortal, only that she disappeared when Gossamyr was very young. Gossamyr hopes that her quest will lead to her missing mother, if she still lives. However, once Gossamyr crosses over into the war-ravaged mortal realm of medieval France, there are many distractions, including a mortal man named Ulrich. He has strange powers of his own and calls himself a 'soul shepherd', one able to see and speak to the dead. He too has recently returned from the realm of the Faery and discovers that he's lost not one day, but the last twenty years of his life. His wife has remarried and his daughter has been sacrificed to a dragon. Ulrich wants to return his child to the mortal realm but must acquire the horn of a unicorn to do so. He and Gossamyr become travel companions, each becoming a teacher of sorts to the other, and protecting each other as they continue their quests.

Gossamyr faces her challenges like the warrior she is, while Ulrich is the more levelheaded and careful of the pair even though he attracts trouble around each bend of the road, from mortal and lost souls alike. He has a self-deprecating charm and a fine sense of humour, something that Gossamyr finds hard to understand at first, and then hard to resist. Their characters work well off each other as they face mounting peril and the truth about the past. Gossamyr is a lushly written, entertaining fantasy romance that satisfies on various levels.

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