by John Lambshead
Cover Artist: Clyde Caldwell
Review by Harriet Klausner
Baen Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 1416521216
Date: 01 May, 2007 List Price $24.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
At the Royal Palace, Secretary to Queen Elizabeth's chief spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham, Simon Tunstall nervously reflects that magic is ninety-nine percent boredom and one percent terror, as he waits for the Court Magician Dr. John Dee to perform the deed. Also observing the ennui stage of the summoning is his boss Sir Francis. Using the Necronomicon, Dee begins the ritual to summon the Lilith into the Royal palace while Queen Elizabeth I is in residence here. He, like his compatriots, knows that if anything goes wrong, they will be lucky to pay with their heads as more likely the enacted price is their souls. Cautiously, Dee proceeds as he brings forth Lilith to place the diabolical but voracious demon inside a dog so that Sir Francis can interrogate him to uncover the identity of the Papist supporters who threaten the Queen. The dog will be dead once they return Lilith back to her plane.
However, Sir Francis' teenage niece Lucy Dennys rushes in to save her dog, but the canine dies as Lilith switches hosts. Dee wants Lucy dead immediately, before it is too late to stop the demon and comes at her with a dagger drawn. Unable to kill her or let anyone else kill his beloved sweet niece, Sir Francis prevents Dee from murdering Lucy though the magic practitioner insists she is no longer his relative as the demon possesses her. None realize on that fatal day what not killing Lucy and Lilith means to the present and the future as God saves the Queen (not the rock band) Elizabeth, as Professor Alice Harding looks back over five centuries to the escapades of Lucy the slayer?
Using tongue in cheek social and historical commentaries, Lucy's Blade is a fun fantasy that actually contains two rotating story lines. The secondary major subplot occurs under the reign of Elizabeth II with the all knowing London University Professor Dr. Alice Harding looking back to the sixteenth century; however, the prime subplot stars Lucy the demon host during the first Elziabeth's reign. Lucy is the key to the tale as she goes from an orphan whose guardian needs to find her a caring protective husband to a paranormal warrior whose guardian needs to use her demonic possession for the betterment of the country. The two subplots ultimately merge into one solid saga as Lucy battles evil.
Lucy is terrific and the title blade is the one Dee wanted to kill her with, but serves as her lucky charm. She keeps the plot focused, yet her asides, caused by her symbiotic relationship with the honest to a deadly fault Lilith, provides humor to the mix as her comments are totally out of place like her response of Queen the rock band to a sixteenth century questioner. Fans who prefer historical accuracy will want to pass as the delightful demon provides futuristic insight to those living in the past. The support cast including references to Lovecraft (Necronomicon), the male romantic lead Captain Hawkins and sort of demons like Lilith add to the understanding of Lucy the evil slayer who as good as she is, proves there is still only one Buffy.
From: Paul Howard: