Andre Norton, |
The Opal-Eyed Fan
The Opal-Eyed Fan is one of my favorite Andre Norton books, though it isn't overly endowed with substance, or is even really fantasy. It's romantic suspense, tinged with a bit of the supernatural. And while it might not be particularly intellectually stimulating, it serves a very necessary function as brain candy.
It's set in the Florida Keys, quite awhile back when wreckers -- and pirates -- still roamed the waters. Persis Rooke, accompanying her uncle on a mysterious quest involving an old family scandal and a forgotten will, is shipwrecked on Lost Lady Key. Lost Lady Key is the home of her rescuer, the wrecker Crewe Leverett, his sister Lydia, the remnants of an ancient island race and (as implied in its name) a ghost. Persis is increasingly drawn into the intrigues of the island's inhabitants. What are Lydia and her handsome beau, pirate Ralph Grillon, planning? What does Ralph Grillon want from Persis? And what is the significance of the strange false fan that keeps turning up in Persis' possession?
Perhaps a little conventional, but still great fun. It has its high points; the take on wreckers, who are often represented unfavorably, is particularly interesting. Recommended for all who like swashbuckling, pirates, adventure and a nice dash of romance. If this heady mixture sounds appealing, it's worth the effort to find a copy (although it will be necessary to ignore the dreadfully dated cover). For another great swashbuckler, also try Andre Norton and Rosemary Edghill's more recent The Shadow of Albion.
by Jennifer Mo