In Lamp Black, Wolf Grey by Paula Brackston, Laura and Dan are finally moving to HER dream home in the lush countryside of Wales. Here is where she will make her greatest creations to place in her next art exhibit. Dan will stay in the city during the week and join her in their idyllic home on the weekends, when they will try to conceive. But something strange is happening to Laura during random times, moments where extreme flashes of feeling overcome her. Then she meets gorgeous neighbor Rhys, who is magnetic and appears whenever she needs rescue. (Why can’t I have one of those?) Eventually, Merlin — the famed Arthurian wizard — begins to appear to her as well.
While Laura’s story is being told in the present, there’s chapters flashing back in time to Megan and Merlin, who had lived in the Welsh countryside where Laura now resides. This story was the much better part, and could have been the book all by itself. Megan being victimized by the Lord of the land to get to her love, Merlin, is classic and always a good tale. The added touch of the youngest of the Lord’s sons being so attached to Megan, while being ignored by his father, heightens the tragedy even further.
Lamp Black, Wolf Grey was good, but not as good as it could have been. The characters needed a bit more fleshing out, as some of their motives seemed strange. You never really found out the purpose for some of the motives behind the actions. I never understood the change in Rhys, or why he pushed one person over the other. The old woman Anwen did not turn out to be who I thought she should be, and would have connected the two timelines a bit better. It was an easy read, for sure, but it never got meaty, although it was very descriptive and definitely brought you into the Welsh mountains.
The book almost reads like the second book of a trilogy. I felt like I walked in on the middle of a play, and missed a couple of things. A prequel and a continuation would make this good read a great read.
If you want a light read, and like a bit of romance with your ghostly supernatural, Lamp Black, Wolf Grey is the novel for you.
Lamp Black, Wolf Grey synopsis:
Artist Laura Matthews finds her new home in the Welsh mountains to be a place so charged with tales and legends that she is able to reach through the gossamer-fine veil that separates her own world from that of myth and fable.
She and her husband Dan have given up their city life and moved to Blaencwm, an ancient longhouse high in the hills. Here she hopes that the wild beauty will inspire her to produce her best art and will give her the baby they have longed for. But this high valley is also home to others, such as Rhys the charismatic loner who pursues Laura with fervor. And Anwen, the wise old woman from the neighboring farm who seems to know so much but talks in riddles. And then there is Merlin.
Lamp Black, Wolf Grey tells both Laura’s story and Merlin’s. For once he too walked these hills, with his faithful grey wolf at his heel. It was here he fell in love with Megan, nurse-maid to the children of the hated local noble, Lord Geraint. Merlin was young, at the start of his renowned career as a magician, but when he refuses to help Lord Geraint it is Megan who may pay the price.
From New York Times bestselling author Paula Brackston, Lamp Black, Wolf Grey is an enchanting tale of love and magic featuring her signature blend of gorgeous writing, an intriguing historical backdrop, and a relatable heroine that readers are sure to fall in love with.