Title: The Only One Anthology: Sacrilege
Author: Susan Squires
Published in May 2003 by Love Spell
She hates that she must leave, but Magda has "served her time" in Mirso for her misbehavior. She had been brought to the monastery by the tall dark lover who made her. There she was forced to stay because she was running wild. Julien Davinoff had tried to teach her, but She knew she was drunk on the power, the life, the blood, and it is the reason she spent the last two centuries in Mirso. She had truly embraced her atonement, but it was a long process, and it was also one she did not wish to repeat. She didn't want to leave, but Elder Rubius would not let her stay. She needed to go out and really live her lives, then, after she has spent a couple of lifetimes in the world, if she still felt the need, she could return. That was not what Magda wanted to hear from the Elder. She did not want to leave Brother Pietr and his serene strength for a strange new world. She craved Mirso's quiet, its solitude, and she really did fear the changes in the outside world. Alien and frightening images rose up when she contemplated her departure, and most of all, her possible loss of control, that which she worked so hard to attain.
Magda has her doubts as she leaves to meet Julien and his lady, Sarah Ashton, Lady Clevancy. They are the only ones she knows on the outside, and they have said they would watch over her, and care for her if needed. That is ok with Magda to a point, but she soon finds a bustling San Francisco too much for her senses, and begs to leave for a quieter place in which to live. Julien reluctantly agreed, and arranged the purchase of a delightful cottage in a quaint little town. She has her solitude, good but far neighbors, a way to make a living, and she is settling in quite nicely. Although she doesn't have a lot, she has more than she had before because now she has her freedom, her control, and she is finding that it is not so hard to maintain her training here in her new environment. She still misses mirso, and it's solitude, and the last thing she expects to show up at her new home is Pietr...
Rubius demanded that Magda leave Mirso, but her departure has thrown Pietr out of sync. Why this is, he has no idea. He can't put his finger on exactly what is wrong, but something is definitely not right. He is moody, and on edge, something he hasn't felt for a millenia or more. The cause might be the effects of Magda's reluctance to leave, but she went, so he should be fine, right? He hopes that life will soon get back to normal and these feelings he shouldn't have will leave. He has followed the training for centuries, purged himself of the need to feel, so he shouldn't be having feelings at all. It doesn't make sense to him because since he came to Mirso and studied, and took The Vow, he should be far beyond such turmoil. As he struggles with the problem, he sets in motion a series of events that will change his future.
Pietr always believed in Rubius, his thoughts, and his teachings. He firmly believed Rubius was right when he exiled Julien from Mirso Monastery forever. Mirso was a sanctuary from the world, a place of quiet and solitude where aspirants could come for relief from the world's pressures, the lust or just the unceasing need for blood. It was a hide-away, a remote escape, a place where one could learn to control and supress the Companion. The life was strict, harsh, and yet it was the only way according to the Elder. Now Pietr was wondering if Davinoff had it right, that there truly was another way, a better way, and a more natural way. He was beginning to wonder whether or not Magda was his way, and love was the answer as Julien claims still. Rubius said that Julien brought the seeds of dissent, the virus of discontent, and for that he was banished. Now Pietr seems to be afflicted as well, and yet, when he discovers Rubius' deceit, he must do what only he can...
From the hallowed halls of the Mirso Monastery, to the rush and tumble of the modern world, Susan once again brings us into her dark, edgy world where things are not always as they seem. The short, Sacrilege, is another truly wonderful trip into Squires’ imagination, and with it, you learn what became of Magda, and how she survived the seclusion she vowed to escape. This time around, Magda is not enjoying the prospect of freedom from the cold stone fortress that is Mirso. Instead, she wants to stay with Pietr, the tutor from whom she struggled against, and then finally with to learn the control she needed to master life in the outside world.
Sacrilege is a story of love denied, trust misplaced, and hope for new life. It is dark, and rides a fine edge where the feelings of Magda and Pietr are constantly bucking against one anther. The trick is to survive until the dawn comes and brings with it the knowledge that only the sunshine of friendship turned to love can illuminate. Journey to that understanding in Sacrilege with Magda and Pietr, and discover the truth that only they can know. Sacrilege can be found in the Dorchester Anthology The Only One and is kept in good company with stories by Christine Feehan, and Susan Grant. Sacrilege is a great read, and it should be on everyone’s keeper shelf!
Yours in good reading,