Tuesday, November 30, 2010
By John Lambshead
Francis Walsingham, Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth I, is the guardian of his orphaned niece, Lucy, a pretty sixteen-year-old girl. Walsingham is dealing with Spanish spies who are trying to assassinate Queen Elizabeth. One of the weapons in Walsingham's arsenal is magic, and he and a learned doctor are attempting to call forth a demon. Restrained within a circle of magical power and captured within the body of a puppy, the demon cannot harm those who have conjured it and must answer the questions put forth to it. But this is a tricky demon and it lures young Lucy into the magic circle and possesses her, much to the dismay of her uncle and the learned doctor. Indeed, the doctor declares that Lucy must immediately be killed or all their lives are in peril. But Walsingham refuses and Lucy, who is unconscious, is put to bed. But her outlook is not good because people possessed by demons turn into raving, murderous, foul lunatics who either end up being killed or locked up for all their lives.
Except for Lucy. Because she isn't actually possessed by a demon. She is possessed all right, but the being she is sharing her body with is not a demon. The being is a energy being who lives on gravitons and makes her home on the edge of a black hole and is an investigator from the far future from a universe that contains no light, only darkness. The being, called Lilith, is sent back in time to get proof that her people are not descended from our time of light and decompressed matter. But a powerful witch shanghaied Lilith first and then the learned doctor captured her next, with her ultimately residing in the innocent bystander, Lucy. And she is stuck in Lucy because the energy required to make her escape would kill Lucy and Lilith is not willing to do that.
But there are benefits to being possessed by an energy being. Lilith can make Lucy's body more efficient and stronger and give her the benefit of her vast data bank of knowledge, gained from a brief foray into the World Wide Web before being yanked into Lucy's era. And now Francis Walsingham finds himself in possession of a secret weapon in the form of his young, beautiful niece who, thanks to Lilith, is strong as a horse, can see in the dark, has hearing like an owl and magical powers to boot. Together Walsingham and Lucy will ferret out the Spanish spies who are intriguing to murder the Queen of England.
This was quite a good story, with a good bit of English history thrown in besides. Lucy and her tame "demon" are charming and entertaining characters, as Lucy suddenly finds herself with superhuman powers and Lilith finds herself captivated by feelings and emotions she has never experienced as a being of pure energy. Together they make a terrific team and have lots of adventures tracking down the evil doers trying to destroy the British government and in confrontations with the powerful witch who first tried to capture Lilith. It's an adventure story, a historical romance, a fantasy story and a science fiction story all rolled into one with a little comedy thrown in besides. It was a fun and interesting read.