by Ruth Berman
First Place, Midwest Book Awards
It sounded like such a straightforward quest when Oberon proposed it — just gather up the magical talismans the fairies had given her family and give them back, now that King Charlemagne’s war with Spain was over. But when Bradamant took on the quest, she didn’t know that her brother would think it was trafficking with devils. Her cousins the magicians didn’t want to give up their carefully indexed books of magic (much less the hippogriff — a useful steed and a loyal companion). Her sister-in-law was willing to give up the spear of Galafrone, but not until she’d finished using it. And her cousin Roland seemed to be haunting his grave, where his magically enduring sword was buried with him, and dead set against being disturbed. What’s a warrior to do when valor alone is not enough for her to complete a quest?