As a courtier in the West Court, Lord
Adam Wexley must do the bidding of his godmother, Lady
Langdon, at all times. When she calls him demanding he
secure the services of Grand Magician Drake in any way
possible, he can’t refuse. He sets off at once to enlist
the man’s aid. He’s very surprised at the boon the magician
asks in return—that he play his guitar for Drake, at Drake’s
Grand Magician Zachary Drake doesn’t
like to get involved in Court politics, so he’s unaligned
with any Court. Still, when Lord Adam Wexley arrives to beg
a favor of him, Drake is intrigued and attracted. He agrees
to help more out of interest in Adam than any real desire to
assist Lady Langdon. Drake has no way of knowing that the
minor assistance he provided is connected to something much
bigger, and more horrifying, than even he could imagine.
A new princess is born, and someone is
determined to ensure she causes the downfall of the world.
Lord Thomas Myrdin believes he is being called to prevent
this. Nothing, not the admiration of Adam Wexley or his
former connection to the king, will stop him.
In a world where magic can sever people
from their souls and force them into slavery, and treachery
may hide behind familiar faces, can three men discover what
they must do before it’s to late?
Ghost Star Night has to be one of the most
unusual books I’ve read in a long time, if not ever. It’s a
very difficult story to describe. Aspects of the setting
are perfectly ordinary, such as police and cars, others seem
medieval, and still others are out of a magical fantasy
land. In the end, though, the bizarre setting works
beautifully, thanks to Nicole Kimberling’s strong
storytelling and interesting characters. Adam is a magician
and a bit of a party boy. At first he comes across as naïve
and too agreeable, but he soon shows that he has a core of
steel beneath the frivolous exterior. Thomas, the man Adam
originally has his heart set on, is a very conflicted man.
He lost his parents and his ability to work magic at a young
age, and has chafed at his mundane role in the South Court
ever since. Being thrown over by the king for a woman—the
new queen—is another slap in the face that leaves him
vulnerable and ends up putting him in a bad situation. Of
all the characters, though, my favorite was Zachary Drake.
He seems cold and calculating at first, for the most part,
but he has a caring side as well. I sympathized with his
unhappiness at Adam’s initial preference for Thomas, and I
admired his willingness to do what he felt was right
regardless of anyone else’s opinion. There are a number of
secondary characters, including various nobles and
magicians, inhabited animals (animals containing the soul of
a convicted criminal or other person who has lost the rights
to his/her soul), and townspeople. Trying to save the
kingdom brings the three principal men closer together, and
gives them unexpected choices to make. I won’t spoil the
storyline here, but there is plenty of magical intrigue,
action, romance, and quite a few surprises. Readers who
like unusual fantasy settings and storylines, action, and
magic, and don’t mind a bit of violence will be sure to
enjoy Ghost Star Night, as I did.