Thorne Blackburn claimed to have magickal powers, to be able to tap into ancient wisdom. Others claimed he was a fake, cheating his many followers out of their money and destroying their free well.
The truth may never be known . . . one dark, climactic night thirty years ago, Blackburn's most powerful ritual went horribly awry, leaving his flock shattered and one woman dead. Blackburn himself vanished.
Now the scattered remains of Blackburn's followers have rallied around a new leader, the charismatic Justin Pilgrim. Hearing this, Thorne Blackburn's daughter, Truth, returns to the site of her mother's death and father's disappearance.
Truth has many unanswered questions. Where are her long-lost half-siblings? Was her mother's death accident or murder? Is Pilgrim a charlatan, or are his claimed powers real? If he completes Thorn's ritual, will someone else die?
The answers will lead Truth to deeply powerful truth of her own, one that will change her life forever.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Adept at both SF (the Darkover series) and fantasy (The Mists of Avalon), Bradley broadens her range with an entertaining tale of contemporary ``magick'' and self-discovery that combines gothic romance, urban fantasy and horror. Truth Jourdemayne, parapsychologist and illegitimate child of celebrated vanished occultist Thorne Blackburn, decides to write a book about her much-hated father; to begin her research, she visits his estate, Shadow's Gate, nestled in the Hudson River valley. There Truth meets a group continuing Blackburn's occult ``Work,'' led by the exciting and mysterious Julian Pilgrim. The narrative employs gothic props such as hidden parentage, a secret book, underground passages and intricate alliances, and it isn't shy about flashing occult wonders either, but the emphasis is on Truth's growth toward greater understanding and wisdom. With a strong, though not feminist, heroine and a sophisticated treatment of magick, this novel overcomes myriad cliches--including the charismatic occult leader and an apparently haunted mansion--to offer intelligent, if somewhat giddy, diversion.