Writer: Caroline Stevermer
Published: November 2000
Publisher: Tor/ Tom Doherty Associates, LLC
Hail Rosmer has always dreamed of being an artist, and she travels to the capital of Aravis to find a tutor. She finds instruction under Madame Carriera, and all is well until she becomes fascinated with the art of Maspero, a 200 year dead artistic genius, and stumbles upon a man who appears to be the very spitting image of the dead King Julian.
And it is said that when the King comes home, all wishes shall be granted...
Stevermer continues her work based in Renaissance Europe, blending a story of an artist and artistic techniques with shades of the Arthurian saga in a story that, while not stunningly bright, is a firm addition to any fantasy library. It is a book of mysteries and legends and dark magics and politics, dumped in the lap of a determinedly stubborn young woman who seeks not only to be the greatest artist possible, but also seeks to master the strange world around her. It feels something like a solo journey through one of Susan Cooper's stories, mining the flesh of myth and legend to find a firm place in the now, despite magics and the impossibilities of human pride.