|By Cherif Fortin and Lynn Sanders
(Genesis Press, Inc., 1998)
81 pages, 34 full-color portrait-quality paintings
Reviewed by Glenda Bixler
| had this book on order before it was published. Last summer, I passed the booth for Genesis Press at the American Booksellers Show in Chicago and was stunned by the portrait painting Lynn Sanders was doing of Cherif Fortin! Oh yes, I got an autograph from Cherif—and I enjoy having his signed picture on my office wall!
It was the combination of portrait-quality paintings within a novel, however, that was most intriguing, and it made me rush home and put the book on order! It is absolutely beautiful—I keep it on my coffee table. Throughout Passions Blood, Cherif and Lynn combine a wonderful historical novel with fantastic portrait paintings, quite similar to those old Bible portraits that some of you may remember. Quite simply, I wanted this new, unique book as a keepsake and, what I hope, will be the first in a series of this wonderful step backward, where the beauty of the printed word is combined with an artistic complement beyond belief. E-publishing may be the future; but Passions Blood shows why we will always cling to the printed book as a unique treasure.
The story is set in the time when property and castles were seized by raising great swords against another. It opens as Lord Gareth and his men fight to save the castle, Gallitain, from Highland warriors. All are killed save the chieftain who is captured by their leader.
Lord Gareth is the father of Lady Leanna, who is betrothed to Prince Emric, younger brother of the Heirs of Kaherdin. And Lady Leanna is with them at Brimhall, when her father and homeland are attacked. Having been sent there for protection, as well as to participate in the Summer Feast, a great event with minstrels and jugglers, Leanna is thrilled to share this time with Emric. But as the festivities begin, she also sees the antagonism and cruelty of Prince Bran as he forces battle with a fellow knight. Leanna is caught and forced to watch this encounter until Emric arrives.
Later, while King Morien shares food with his family, they are disturbed by a representative group of the Deldann warriors, who announce their victory over Gallitain and declare war on the King on behalf of King Lorccan. Knowing there is no way out, the King and brothers prepare for war.
During the ensuing days, King Morien is killed, Lady Leanna is kidnapped, and Prince Emric is forced into battle. But as Emric considers all that has happened, he begins to question exactly who the enemy is and, as he finds that his father has been killed and pursues his murderer and Leannas kidnappers to free her, he faces the greatest battle he will ever encounter. But Prince Emric is seriously wounded. Can the power of Lady Leannas love save him? And will Lady Leanna ever see her father again?
Perhaps this historical romance pursues an age-old plot, but the story, with the accompanying illustrations, creates a fresh combination that is well worth your time. Anybody interested in historical fiction will want Passions Blood as a unique addition to their home library.