The Merry Widows:

Once a Hero

Silk & Steel

Magic and Mist by Theresa Michaels
(Harl. Historical #568, $4.99, PG-13) 0-373-29168-X
Magic and Mist is the final book in Theresa Michaels' medieval "Clan Gunn" trilogy, the stories of three Scottish brothers. This story of Druid priestess Meredith of Cambria and Davey Gunn, the youngest of the three Clan Gunn brothers is a fast-paced journey of adventure and magic. If the author had included just of few more sentences of background information about Meredith and Davey's previous connection in the past books, I would have enjoyed it so much more.

Meredith arrives at the Clan Gunn celebration of the wedding of second son, Jamie Gunn. Davey has been looking for Meredith after seeing her in his mind and dreams while healing from a grave battle injury. (At least that is what I think happened. There isn't a good description of what actually happened to Davey or how Meredith connected with him during the healing time.) He has been searching for her ever since. When she arrives, she convinces him to be her protector on her quest to gather together four important items of her people that were dispersed in a tragedy years before. One of the items, a sword, is found in his family collection.

Davey is strongly drawn to Meredith. He has a touch of magic of his own, visions that he does not know how to interpret. When he decides he will go with her, his brothers and sisters-in-law all object. Only the old woman who has been with the family since his mother was young supports him and gives him a small package from his dead mother with the cryptic comment that he will know when to use it.

The quest is fraught with danger. Meredith not only needs to find the four items; she must find them before Owain finds them. Owain is a Druid priest turned bad. The elders had trained the two of them until Owain began to use his magic in destructive ways. He was punished and banished by the leaders, but has been using his evil to try to overthrow the elders and take Meredith as his mate. She has vowed that will not happen.

Michaels' descriptions of the conflicts between Owain and his henchmen and Davey/Meredith are very vivid with the clash of Meredith's and Owain's magic heightening the drama. The sexual tension between Davey and Meredith is also quite strong with Davey wanting her badly and Meredith knowing that she has to complete her task before there will be any chance of coming together.

Despite being engrossed in the story most of the time, the references to the past connection between Davey and Meredith kept pulling me out of the story. As someone who reads a lot of connected stories, I would much rather have a few more sentences explaining such pertinent information from a previous book. That way, if I pick up a book out of sequence, it makes sense. If I read the series in order, it just gives me a quick review of what happened previously.

Anyone who likes magic and druid themes should like this book. However, I do recommend reading the series in order.

--B. Kathy Leitle

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