A Distant Magic by Mary Jo Putney
When Nikolai Grigori is a homeless urchin in Malta, the visiting Macrae of Dunrath recognizes his magical powers and offers to foster him. But on the voyage to England they are attacked by pirates, and Macrae does nothing to stop them from taking Nikolai as a slave. Years later Nikolai exacts revenge by kidnapping the late Macrae's daughter. Jean, a Guardian, saves the day, first when their ship is attacked by pirates, and later when she adds her magic to Nikolai's to survive a horrifying storm. Adia, a woman from the future who survived the Middle Passage and went to England at the end of the American Revolution, turns up on Nikolai's private island, Santola, with the message that Jean and Nikolai must travel to the future to ensure the success of the abolition movement. As they travel through time, they use both African and Guardian magic and discover the synergistic effect of intimacy on their paranormal powers. Not the page-turning escapist fare readers usually expect from Putney, this tale features admirable characters and a fascinating approach to slavery and the abolition movement. Tixier Herald, Diana --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
I wish that I could strongly recommend this book. After all the premise is original, there's magic involved and the characters are likable. But the latter half of the book is mired in abolishing slavery and going through time to fight the unseen evil that is promoting slavery.
Not exactly romance material and it really detracted from the story. It almost felt like a story about slavery instead of romance. Not a good mix at all. I think the intention was to make it an epic love story that spanned ages but it failed on that front.
I give this book a weak 2/5