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    By: Amanda Hemingway

    Date Released

    Out of Print

    The first book in a brand new trilogy.

    Bartlemy Goodman is approximately 1,500 years old. An albino go Greek parentage, he was born in Byzantium amidst the decline of the Roman Empire and now resides in the village of Thornyhill, England, with his dog, Hoover.

    Bartlemy is one of the Gifted. But long experience has taught him the perils of the power of the witch-kind and so throughout the ages he has channelled his considerable talents in cooking, his culinary prowess becoming the stuff of legend: he worked for the Borgias, was among the first to discover chocolate and even taught the likes of Escoffier.

    On a warm evening in 1991, a young homeless woman holding a baby turns up on Bartlemy's doorstep and he senses destiny at work. The woman's name is Annie Ward and her son, Nathan, is an exceptional child - Anne cannot account for his conception. Her husband, Daniel, died in a car accident so Nathan cannot be his.

    Soon Bartlemy comes to believe that the boy was created beyond the Gate of Death by a superior being for a special purpose - one that may threaten all of witch-kind - and that it is his job to protect him.

    Whilst Nathan grows and Bartlemy continues to watch over the small family, strange occurrences begin to plague the village. The Thorn family, who gave their name to the village, have lived close by since pre-Christian times and were once the guardians of a strange cup of greenish stone, set with jewels.

    When it was lost, sold to a Jewish collector in Austria by the black sheep of the family who absconded with it in the 1920s, the family's fortune soon followed suit. Rumoured to have been stolen by the Nazis during the war, it has now turned up at Sotheby's and the last of the Thorns is determined to get it back by proving the original sale false . . .

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