The Twelfth Enchantment is a lush, romantic and magical adventure that unfold through the life of Lucy Derrick. Lucy is very much a product of her time: England during the 1800's. Through a series of unfortunate family events Lucy finds her self in Nottingham at the mercy of her Uncle and his house hold. She is on the cusp of the only option open to her, a marriage with a local business owner Mr. Olsen.
Mr. Olsen's business comes against tough opposition from the Luddites a band of disgruntled workers finding themselves obsolete in England's growing industrial world. After a successful meeting with her betrothed , the party is interrupted by a raving man with a message for Lucy: She must not marry Mr. Olsen. She must "gather the leaves" but under no circumstances marry Tom Olsen.
This mysterious stranger puts Lucy on the path to discovering what ails the stranger as well as introducing her to the world of magic through her acquaintance with a local woman Mary Crawford.
This book is a wonderful combination of romance and historical exploration. Lucy is a very interesting character. I didn't take to her at first. There is subdued coldness to her at times but I mostly think this is due to her life experience. As she develops her magical talents she still vacillates about breaking free from her family and embracing her destiny.
I was much more interested in Mary Crawford. She is passionately written by Liss and her scenes with Lucy art he most interesting part of the novel.
As the mysterious stranger is released from his spell thru Lucy' efforts we learn he is Lord George Byron of Newstead. Lucy is intrigued by him and his lack of knowledge about his appearance at her door. There is a definite chemistry between them that leads Lucy to dream of a new future. Barely reeling from the second man in her life Lucy is shocked to be reunited with a past love, one clothed in scandal and painful feelings.
When Lucy embraces her mission the novel really ramps up with energy and magic. revelations about her family and her own past as well as her companions set the stage for an epic and enjoyable ending.
Liss deftly guides the reader through Lucy's world and the historical elements that shaped England's industrial age. A wonderful engrossing read.