Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Third Circle-Amanda Quick

The Third Circle
Amanda Quick
Putnam, April 2008, $24.95
ISBN: 9780399154843

Dressed in men’s formal attire, Leona Hewitt sneaks into Lord Delbridge’s home while he hosts a party for his male friends and their courtesans. Leona works with the energy of crystal helping heal troubled souls; she currently is seeking the Aurora Stone that belongs by rights to her family although it has been stolen periodically for its alleged power. When she finds the museum room, Leona sees a man looking at the body of a dead woman lying on the floor. Thaddeus Ware also looks for the Aurora Stone, which he intends to return to the Arcane Society as the gem is as much a heaing tool as it is a deadly weapon.

Leona finds the stone but Thaddeus takes it; triggering a poison that will drive him insane and eventually kill him. Leona saves his life by using her Aura Stone to heal the hypnotist. Delbridge plans to retrieve the stone because that is his entrance ticket to the THIRD CIRCLE of the Order of the Emerald Table, a cabal within the Arcane Society, a group dedicated to finding the Founder’s formula that will enhance paranormal powers. His desire places Leona in danger because she is the only person who can safely use the Aurora Stone; Thaddeus understands her value to the Third Circle and vows to keep her safe even if she rejects his protection.

THE THIRD CIRCLE is Amanda Quick at her mesmerizing best with an enchanting historical romantic suspense that contains a rousing romp, an intriguing mystery, and a touch of the fantasy that come together nicely in a cleverly crafted story line. The quirky cast is fully developed with a couple of the support players seemingly capable of carrying out their own adventures. However, Leona owns this tale as she defies the rules of society to do what she believes is right.

Harriet Klausner