Mistress of the Jewels


Lady of Light

As Lady of Light begins, King Jehan is under pressure from his Council to take a wife and assure the succession. His search is complicated by the fact that he is not only ruler of Westria, but master of the four elemental Jewels of Power, and whoever he marries will have to function as priestess as well as Queen. He comes to the northern province of the Corona, accompanied by his household, including the young knight Eric of Seagate, his chaplain the Master of the Junipers, and his Seneschal, Caolin, to whom he has turned over the day-to-day responsibility for running the kingdom. There he meets Faris and Farin, twin siblings of the wife of the heir to the Corona and good friends of Rosemary, his sister. Faris, fair, and fragile both psychologically and physically, immediately attracts the attention of Eric, Caolin, and the King. While they all are dealing with both the depredations of local bandits and the affairs of the kingdom, the King and and Eric are both falling in love with Faris. Faris overcomes her own fears and chooses the King, to the shock of Caolin, who has sublimated his own love for Jehan in work. In response, the Seneschal begins to take a hand in the political plots threatening the kingdom, and develop his own magical power. Although Faris still fears her own magic, she accepts enough training to go through the rituals that will make her Queen.

At the same time as Jehan and Faris are married in a transcendent rite which culminates as she receives the Jewels of Power, Caolin establishes a temple at the peak of the Red Mountain and lays claim to the powers there. But it is only when he sees Jehan and Faris unite their powers to control a forest fire that he realizes how greatly he desires both them and their power.

Lady of Darkness

Lady of Darkness opens as the King and Queen are settling into married life and pregnancy. But the more content the King grows the more unhappy Caolin becomes. A ritual to separate Jehan from his Queen goes wrong, and Jehan is badly wounded by a wild boar, throwing even more power into Caolin’s hands. His conflict with Brian, lord of the southern province of Las Costas, intensifies as Brian agitates for more decentralized power, and he tricks the King into signing a warrant for Brian’s arrest. When Jehan finds out that his Seneschal has betrayed him, he loses the will to fight his infection and dies, leaving the pregnant Faris as Regent with Caolin as her Seneschal. Westria’s southern neighbor, Elaya, takes advantage of the kingdom’s confusion to attack, and Caolin, seeing an opportunity to get rid of Brian, betrays his battle plan to the enemy. As the battle rages, Faris gives birth to a son who is given the milk name of Star. Brian is killed, but Westria wins the battle, and the survivors, especially Eric and the Queen’s brother Farin, begin to suspect Caolin. The Seneschal reacts by courting the Queen, who begins to think that perhaps in loving each other they can preserve Jehan’s memory. Caolin has driven the Master of the Junipers, who might have offered counsel, away, and stolen the Jewels of Power, but when he tries to make love to Faris, his own magic backfires and she sees his evil. In panic, she flees the capital, taking her child. As the kingdom searches for its lost Queen, Caolin tries to consolidate his power. But his enemies are gathering evidence , and the Queen’s brother Farin, who is a harper, is turning public opinion against him. Caolin’s bid to preserve his power is defeated, and in a vengeful fury he flees to his temple on the Red Mountain and prepares to use the Jewels to destroy Westria. In the meantime, Faris has fallen ill as she seeks safety in the sacred Valley of Awahna. The Master of the Junipers finds her being tended by a mountain family, but before he can cure her, she is compelled to fight an astral battle against Caolin. The four Jewels explode from Caolin’s grasp and are lost and he himself is terribly burned. Faris is dead, but in dying, she triumphs and is reunited with Jehan. The Master of the Junipers decides that the safest course is to foster the baby in the anonymous care of the mountain family.