Rachel Lee's SHADOWS OF MYTH starts out with a bang, grabbing you right away with a scene of a woman regaining consciousness on a battlefield. She is actually lying on a dead person and surrounded by others, and has no memory of who she is. The horror is immediate.
The hero, mysterious Archer Blackcloak, and his small band discover her and decide to take her to the closest village and leave her there. The village is on the verge of catastrophe due to bad weather. An untrusting Archer next decides to take Tess (the name is remembered) to the nearest city to aid her quest for identity. Two villagers who hope to save their village and the people they love decide to tag along in search of solutions in the city.
Thus progresses the rest of the book about the search for Tess' identity and that of the source of all the weather troubles.
I think SHADOWS OF MYTH will keep the interest of anyone who likes a character-driven story. You see Tess' courage in having to live with not knowing anything about herself and whether she could have anything to do with the death of so many people. How was it that she was the only survivor? And the mystery of Archer was intriguing. He's perhaps more than mere mortal and with a troubled past.
This magical fantasy set in a medieval-like setting was intense, fast moving, had great characters and a very interesting plot. That spark that has been missing from Rachel Lee's recent romance and suspense novels for me was present in this fantasy novel.
And there are actually two romances going on: 1) the main characters'--whose relationship is subtle, more like recognizing a feeling of home in each other--and 2) that of shy young Tom, who loves the practical and strongly-built Sara. A high recommend, and I'm looking forward to Rachel Lee's next installment in this series.
Note: Though the longer arc of this story is continued, SHADOWS OF MYTH doesn't leave you with a cliffhanger.--Linda (7 Mar 05)