Since my introduction to this author's work of her debut novel, UNDER A WILD SKY, first book in her `Wild Series' I've been totally awestruck by this remarkably original and creative author. In ACROSS A WILD SEA, the author has again created another remarkable heroine in Allanah. Blind since birth, Alannah's mother had set her adrift at sea, rather than risk the infant's life should the father discover she lived. A sailor found Alannah and brought her to his lover, a woman living in exile alone on an island, to be raised. Growing up with only `grandmother' and the wild horses as her companions, Alannah's remaining senses became especially attuned to nature and as she roamed the island she was able to navigate with ease giving anyone observing her the illusion that she could see, particularly when watching her gallop her wild stallion, Claudius across the seashore.
After a particularly ferocious storm when riding Claudius, Alannah came upon a man washed up from the sea. Sensing danger AND his anger, she wanted him off her island! Xanthier O'Bannon, was a very angry sea captain who blamed the fates for sinking his ship, and adding to his anger was this breathtakingly beautiful young woman who was treating him like a common sailor - totally intent on getting rid of him. After realizing he was hurt, she brought him back to the cottage where she and `grandmother' nursed him back to health. Irresistibly drawn and completely captivated, he never realizing until some time later that she was blind. With Alannah, Xanthier found a peaceful bliss that soothed his soul. After discovering her true origins coupled with her disability, he was determined to do all he could to protect her. Thinking it in her best interest, he took her off the island intending to petition the King for ownership of the island, but after learning of the existence of the island, the king made it a prize to be won in a horse race. A race that would pit them against a common enemy, the outcome deciding whether they would ever have the blissful future they both desired.
Crafting totally unique characters, the author imbues in Alannah a resourcefulness, which in spite of her disability, was a marvel to behold. While Xanthier is not as likeable a hero as one would like, (recalling his nefarious plotting against his twin brother from IN A WILD WOOOD) the author manages to imbue compassion in him for the love he has for Alannah, and the sacrifice he ultimately makes in order to save his young daughters life. With a passionately sensual love story, and suspenseful plot this latest entry is sure to please the most discriminating of readers. Read on its own merit, it's a stand alone and fascinating book; reading in conjunction with the previous novels of the series is a fabulous treat of an introduction to an extraordinary new author!! --- Marilyn, for [...] ---