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The Spiral Dance Hardcover – October, 1991

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in 16th-century England and Scotland during the last great rebellion against Tudor absolutism, this vivid and entrancing first novel is a fantasy deeply rooted in historic fact. Anne Percy, countess of Northumberland, and her husband, Tom, along with other noble families who practice the outlawed Old Faith--Catholicism--plan an uprising against Queen Elizabeth. Anne encounters a madwoman, claiming to be her alter ego, whose raving predictions include the failure of the revolt. After the rebel forces are defeated, Anne and Tom flee to Scotland where they are taken in and then betrayed by scheming Border lords. But Jock o' the Syde, an amiable-appearing werewolf earning his keep by herding sheep, rescues Anne and her maid after they are accused of witchcraft by Elizabeth's forces, tortured and condemned to death. The countess realizes she must fulfill the the rest of the madwoman's prophesy and travel to the Ends of the Earth to meet her fate, even if it means traversing Faerie, the land of magic. Weaving Celtic legend with the brutality and squalor of the 16th century, Garcia y Robertson skillfully persuades readers to suspend disbelief.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

History and legend come together in a splendid mix in this fantasy set in 16th-century Scotland and England. Anne Percy, Countess of Northumberland and leader of a band of anti-Elizabethan Catholic rebels, finds her faith in religion and causes shaken by a chance encounter with a prophetic madwoman who bears an uncanny resemblance to herself. Witchcraft, werewolves, and the faerie world form a harmonious counterpoint to historical events in a gracefully written first novel that will appeal to lovers of period fiction.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 227 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (October 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688109020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688109028
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,747,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 20, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I was in here looking for more books by the author because I loved this books so much. Somehow he struck the right balance in an ever shifting world our heroine travels through, and still making it all balance and ring 'true'. I was glued to the book until I came to the end. One of the things I love, character development, was handled extremely well. Though the ending came 'full circle' and fit in perfectly, i was still mystified and wishing to take another journey to gather more data in. Alas, there is no sequel. I mourn.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andi on April 20, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Being a historical recreationist, I am fairly picky about any books that deal with history- and besides the accents (which the author later says he made up in order to make the story more real to the reader, from the main characters' point of view), I found the culture and many events to be very accurate, from what we know. As far as imagined events- I happen to be Wiccan, so naturally I was drawn to the book for the title- and I was not disappointed on the magic side of the story. The land of fairie is very accurately represented from the Celtic folktales I've read- there's an encounter with the Wild Hunt, an interesting take on Clan symbolism, and of course, the occasional fun conjure. When there were sex scenes in the book, I found them to be quite in keeping with the story and not gratuitous.

The fear of torture, real to any woman who's studied the time period, was portrayed very well also.

Go for it- the only thing you'll be sorry about is that there is no sequel! Although the story does indeed come 'full circle' at the end, you'll want to read more about this magical world.
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By silvia on January 18, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of my all time favorite books. This author has many fun and interesting books, and a number of truly great ones. This is, in my opinion, one of his best. I was entertained, educated, fascinated and mesmerized. Wow.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By digitus@cww.octec.org.au on September 2, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Robertson should be castigated for only one thing, the sequel he promises in his afterword has never eventuated.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rhubarb on August 12, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Garcia y Robertson is a master storyteller. I prefer his short stories, but this novel was pretty good, too.
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