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From the dazzling and award-winning author of Angel of Ruin, The Resurrectionists and The Infernal. Christine Starlight has never forgotten the best friend of her childhood, the strange, red-haired Mayfridh. Abducted by the barren king and queen of a Germanic faeryland, Mayfridh has since grown up and succeeded to the throne of the Autumn Castle, lonely and reliant on the counsel of the wolf Eisengrimm. And then, for a short time, the human and faery worlds are in conjunction. When Mayfridh decides to come looking for her childhood friend, she finds Christine's partner, Jude, first and falls instantly and madly in love with him. With the help of the witch Hexebart, she learns Jude's dread secret. And Christine, the victim of a childhood accident and a lifetime of chronic pain, becomes a visitor to Mayfridh's faery world - with unpredictable consequences. But it isn't merely jealousy and secrets that could tear them all apart. Watching over them is the cruel but brilliant billionaire Immanuel Z., who is gathering faery bones for a grand sculpture ...
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Wilkins, a star in her native Australia, strikes a tantalizing balance between pastoral and grotesque in her American fantasy debut. Christine Starlight lives in an artist's collective in Berlin with her lover, Jude, and their companions. She is haunted by two memories from childhood: the gruesome death of her parents and the abduction of her best friend, May. May, it turns out, was not abducted, but was lost by her mother in a bargain with a faery; in the enchanted world May now calls home-and which now calls her Mayfridh-she is the queen. Circumstances bring the two worlds together, and when Mayfridh crosses over and reunites with Christine, she also falls in love with Jude. Jude, though, carries with him a whopper of a secret, which Wilkins manages to conceal nicely. Meanwhile, Mandy Z., a madman who has hated faeries since childhood and who happens to own the building in which Christine and Jude live, is hard at work on a "Bone Wife," made from the bones of the faeries he has murdered. The brutal scenes involving Mandy Z. provide a sharp contrast to the gentle, often touching story of Christine and her inner battles. The well-executed conclusion ends this fascinating adventure on a high note. Agent, Selwa Anthony. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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