Lord Carabas by James Buchanan
Phaze
Historical Fiction m/f/m
ISBN 1-59426-638-7
Reviewed by Beth Anne

 

   

 

Julius Montclair LaRousse is a seventeenth century professional con-artist, pickpocket,  and not quite full-blooded human, when he meets Scottish Lady Mary Keiko MacPhearson and her shipboard protector, Curran Shee, an Irishman, on the docks upon their arrival in Calais.  The three join resources and what begins as a mutually beneficial working relationship turns into an adventure of epic proportions for Jules, Keiko, and Curran.  The twist and turns of good and bad fortune for Jules have ramifications for all three, individually, socially, and politically.

The opening line of Lord Carabas, “I was then, and am now, a creature of sin”, sums up Jules character, and he remains consistently true to this description throughout the book.  Jules is attracted to Lady Keiko, who practices and studies the “science of alchemy,” and his wooing of Keiko has its own trials, tribulations, and pitfalls.  (An enchanted vial will burst if she looses her virginity.)  Adding to Jules' frustrations is his ever-growing attraction to Curran, with whom Jules is actually forming a close friendship.  Curran and Jules try to keep the small household financially stable as Keiko’s father postpones sending funds, but events conspire against Jules.  From duels, to prison, and shipboard, the action is non-stop.  From being an orphan and a peasant, to a titled nobleman, Jules takes the trio from France to the New World of La Florida.

 Lord Carabas is a riveting tale and the first book in a now-titled series, River of Time.  Much more than a simple “boy meets girl, girl denies boy, boy gets girl” or even a “boy meets boy, and boy seduces boy”, we have a complicated and engrossing tale with descriptions and character definitions that make you feel like you are a part of the story.  My favorite quote:  “Hope lived and died in a thousand angels' heartbeats”.  With Lord Carabas, we get so many elements to enjoy: historical setting, fantasy, duels, political intrigue, shipboard battles, and outposts in the New World.  Lord Carabas is definitely a Joyfully Recommended read!

     

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