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In the mythical land of Azgard, the Toltecs have invaded and conquered the Taranians. Marriage between the two peoples is absolutely forbidden and any children of such unions are forever considered to be bastards, shunned by the society of both peoples. Helen Andros, the sole medical officer for the 163rd Toltec Regiment is such a despised person. Through sheer grit and perseverance, she has fought to receive the education and position she now holds, one that is about to be severely threatened and compromised by the revelation of her true parental heritage.
Helen's mother, Miriam dared to love Lord James Mordecai, the powerful Lord Protector and Duke of Alta, a member of the most powerful House of Azgard. He dared to love her in return. The only remnant of her mother's lost love is a green amulet stone that Helen wears close to her heart, a heart wounded by what she believes was her mother's abandonment and then death many, many years ago.
Helen's a feisty character, to say the least, whose agreement to treat a ruling Lord results in her being condemned to die because she has violated the law that forbids Taranian bastards from entering the Sacred Precincts. At great risk to his own powerful position and life, James will save Helen's life and earn both veritable enemies who will do nothing short of murder to destroy them, if they don't kill each other first!
There are much tears, drinking of kaf (tea), sharing of meals, and conversations between Judith, a wealthy advisor to the rich and powerful, and just about every other significant character in this complex tale. Helen and James face each other with rage, misunderstanding and the reality of an underage woman becoming the daughter and possession of a ruling military leader. Numerous subplots weave their way through Helen and James's life, including a secret but successful plan to poison the Exalted Lord and rule of Azgard, torture of the worst kind for those who dare to disobey the cruel Toltec rulers, and so much more.
Despite the huge array of characters (thank goodness there's a very helpful Glossary to help the reader in this regard) and different strands seemingly digressing from the main story, The Vision is a fascinating read that never fails to make the reader wanting to find out what happens to these mysteriously connected people and how their entanglements will affect the future of Azgard. The vision is all about healing that is the root of all true living!
Fascinating, Ms. Talmadge!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on July 12, 2008