The Enchantment
by Pam Binder, time-travel (2001)
Sonnet, $6.50, ISBN 0-7434-1794-1


I have no idea what possessed Pam Binder to write a story of war and conflict absolutely devoid of, well, war and conflict. The Enchantment is not only on sedatives when it comes to pacing, if it gets any more slower we will all be high on tranquilizers.

The story starts in the present, when our heroine Eilan Douglas (empath, runs an antique store) gets a visit from a fourteenth-century Scots laird Conor McCloud. Conor has just returned from the Crusades when he discovers his lands seized by his uncle Simon. His best friend died in the process of getting the lands back for Conor, but before he dies, he makes Conor vow to find "the Peacemaker" that will help them all.

So with the help of a witch and a magical ring, Conor goes to seek the Peacemaker in the future. No, we are not talking about the Colt Peacemaker gun thingies, more the pity. Imagine how fun the story will be if Conor raids a gun store and goes home with enough ammo and weapons to put the Terminator to shame. No, the Peacemaker is a title given to Eilan. Yawn. Eilan realizes that she may feature in a legend from Conor's time and feels obligated to help him.

So how does she help? Plan strategies? Draw maps? Research history book for clues? Join the NRA?

Nooooo. Eilan teach Conor to eat ice cream. Eilan tells Conor hee-hee things about the present. Look, Conor, the shower. Ooh. And see, history books! Cool huh? Wow, look at Mrs Giggles snore.

Then they go back to Conor's time. Aha, I think, waking up. Time to storm the citadel! War! People dying! Hurrah... uh, no. Eilan runs happily in the unpolluted Scots wilderness and Conor laughs as he runs after her. They snuggle and look at the stars. Finally, when they walk into Conor's stronghold (after chapters of family insurance commercial moments), we have some battle plannings. Then it's a few more chapters and it's the end.

Huh?

And Conor and Eilan's relationship? There's no conflict, nothing. They meet, they talk, and they settle into sex-and-understanding with no trouble at all. So where does that leave me? Bored close to the point of coma.

Oh, if only the Peacemaker here refers to the firearm Peacemaker, I tell you. The Enchantment can break the strongest insomnia.

Rating: 51


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