by Mary Jo
October 6th is the release date for A Distant Magic, the final book in my Georgian paranormal historical trilogy.
In Book 1, A Kiss of Fate, Duncan Macrae is the most powerful weather mage in Britain.
In Book 2, Stolen Magic, Simon, Lord Falconer, is the Guardian enforcer.
In A Distant Magic, Nikolai Gregorio is a crusader, and his life and soul are dedicated to ending slavery.
The heroine of A Distant Magic is Jean Macrae, the fiery younger sister of Duncan Macrae, hero of A Kiss of Fate. In Stolen Magic, she plays an important role as protector and teacher of several young mages. who had been imprisoned by an evil mage. In A Distant Magic, she moves center stage as a member of one of the most prominent clans of Guardians, humans whose magical powers come from nature.
But Jean considers her skills modest at best. She has never been able to summon the intense, earth-altering ability that has marked the most talented Guardians, and she is content without the adventure that such skill brings . . . until the day she is confronted by a handsome stranger whose magic imprisons her on his pirate ship.
Born on Malta of Maltese, European, and West African lineage, Nikolai Gregorio is convinced that Jean’s father abandoned him as a child to slavers. Now a pirate captain who fights slavers, he also seeks vengeance against the Macraes, no matter the cost. But Jean soon finds his untrained magical gifts far more dangerous than his thirst for revenge, especially when they intensify her own powers to an unthinkable–and enticing–degree.
When Jean and Nikolai’s combustible connection summons an African sorceress from the future, they are charged with a formidable task: protect those who will oppose slavery’s evil and forever change the future of nations. This quest will sweep Jean and Nikolai into the most fantastic of realms and try their powers beyond even what the Guardians themselves would dare.
When ultimate disaster threatens, they will stake everything on a shattering test of love that could secure the fate of generations . . . or destroy them and all they cherish.
All three Guardian novels are about what happened behind the scenes to make history turn out the way we know it. The book was inspired by Adam Hochshild's brilliant book Bury the Chains, a history of the 18th century British abolition movement. It was a National Book Award nominee, and it's a riveting read.
(The movie Amazing Grace, starring Ioan Gruffudd as abolitionist leader William Wilberforce covers similar material with a focus on Wilberforce, and is wonderful to watch and even has a delightful romance.)
As I read Bury the Chains, I thought how dramatic many of the incidents were, and how fragile the movement was in the early days. The great abolitionist organizer, Thomas Clarkson, was almost drowned when slave ship sailors tried to throw him from a pier in a storm. What if they'd succeeded? The abolition movement might have been crippled for another generation.
In A Distant Magic, I brought my characters to key points to protect those early visionaries, many of them dedicated Quakers. Since the incidents were spread over a number of decades, Jean and Nikolai have to travel through time to fulfill their mission. I don't particularly like time travel books but if that's what it takes to make the story work…!
The original Del Rey cover for A Distant Magic is above. Pretty, but much more low key. For this trilogy I decided to go for dramatic Smoldering Men. I thought this fellow looked like a smoldering sea captain. He is the master of his ship–but not of one small, fierce, redheaded Scotswoman!
This final book in my Guardian trilogy releases on Thursday. Click here for more information and an excerpt.
A review from Library Journal:
"Magic and traditions of all kinds, an abundance of well-delineated characters, and fascinating historical and political detail makes this the most complex and unusual (Guardian novel) to date."
I'll be giving away a copy of A Distant Magic to one person who comments between now and midnight Thursday. (US only, sorry!)
Mary Jo, delighted to have this trilogy now available in e-book, print, and audio