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The Wizard's Wife (Or, AErin of Grendelire)
Becky Gauger
1st Books, 375 pages

The Wizard's Wife (Or, AErin of Grendelire)
Becky Gauger
Becky Gauger is a science fiction and reference librarian in Oklahoma.

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Past Feature Reviews
A review by Cindy Lynn Speer

Marela, now that her father has died of the Wasting sickness, needs to make her way across the Scar; a place of deep woods and rough terrain. She thinks that she's lucky to fall in among a travel group lead by her adopted uncle Shap, until she wakes up one morning to find that all of her fellow travelers are gone. Completely, without so much as a footprint or a singed stick to prove that they ever where there. She makes her way out, but is much further from her destination than she expected. She finds herself at the keep of Grendelire, were the wizard AErin lives and conducts his work in solitude during the winter. At first, she thinks of him as a grandfatherly figure until a twist of fate shows him to be younger -- and much more virile than she imagined. By the end of the winter, they become man and wife, and are sweetly captivated by each other. They set out on AErin's yearly travels, where they meet people who are dear to him, and try and discover what happened to Shap's group. The answers will soon be involved with another disappearance -- her own. Now AErin must save the woman who has become so precious to him and try to prevent a war.

The thing that charmed me most in The Wizard's Wife is the romance between AErin and Marela. Their devotion to one another really makes this story fun. Many times, I've thought I would prefer the wizard over the knight if I were in the heroine's shoes... and AErin is well worth being chosen. Becky Gauger has used the idea that magic is really a sensible combination of common knowledge and science, making AErin seem more of a scholar enthralled with learning for what it can do to help people than the usual, kind of formidable power source. I enjoyed seeing how he used his knowledge to make things magical, and his delight in using these things to impress his wife.

Marela herself is a rather fascinating character. She possesses a certain amount of vulnerability that makes her very endearing to us, as well as to AErin. I also thought the fact that Gauger gave her the talent of wood carving, a talent that is slightly unusual for a woman to have in a story, gave Marela a new dimension. Watching Marela break from her shell and grow as a person during the different happenings, and seeing how brave and no-nonsense she really is forms one of the most important parts of the story. It takes the adventure plot line of her getting kidnapped and improves uponit. Instead of playing off on the idea of the wizard completely taking the knight's usual place in such a story, we have Marela proving to be just as powerful as her beloved, and willing to make steps forward to free herself instead of being the languishing heroine.

Shameless romantics who have always wondered why the wizard didn't get the girl will love this endearing novel. I would particularly suggest The Wizard's Wife if you enjoyed the romantic plotline in Barbara Hambly's The Silent Tower or The Silicon Mage.

Copyright © 2002 Cindy Lynn Speer

Cindy Lynn Speer loves books so much that she's designed most of her life around them, both as a librarian and a writer. Her books aren't due out anywhere soon, but she's trying. You can find her site at

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