The Flame and the Shadow
Ace, Nov 2008, $14.00
He is Grayson of Concordia also called the Duke of Ombra; he has a problem he would like to get rid of as soon as possible. His shadow is an independent sentient entity yet it is also a part of the mercenary sorcerer. It even has his own name Shad and he loves Gray, who repels him because the sorcerer believes the shadow is the darkness manifested from his soul. He made a deal with the wizard Deiter that he would kidnap the grieving fire witch Cenda in exchange for the destruction of Shad.
Gray travels to the planet Sybaris where Cenda lives grieving the death of her child that has turned her once fiery heart to ash with a desire to die. She is the first fire witch to be found in centuries and has enemies who want to abduct her to use as a weapon. Gray tries to get her off planet to his client as soon as possible. However, she discovers the secret of Shad and accepts both as one who cherish her. Stunned by her reaction, he realizes he cares for her. Once she learns what his plans for her were she is hurt and angry. He proves he cares for her by saving her from the find the technomage scientist who kidnaps her and wants to experiment on her to see if she can duplicate Cenda’s powers.
THE FLAME AND THE SHADOW is an erotic evocative fantasy in which science and magic coexist but practitioners fight for supremacy. Gray is a conflicted person; hating Shad for something that occurred on his home planet; he wears the scars of that incidents and wants Shad to suffer though he understands the shadow is him. Cenda is a strong willed individual who falls for all manifestations of Gray. Her acceptance brings healing and redemption to she Shadow sorcerer, but does not abate the danger to either of them or her. If this thriller is any indication, Denise Rossetti is a welcomed newcomer to the fantasy genre.