Beneath the Thirteen Moons
Mahri Zin needs a Healer, someone who can save her village and remaining family from the ravages of a deadly disease. She doesn't expect any Healer to willingly come with her to the outreaches of their civilization. When her young son and husband lay ill with the disease, the Healer she sought out refused to come...and they died. This time Mahri is taking the decision away from them. She abducts a young Healer from the Healer's tree and, using the power of a zabba root, spirits him away from the guards and heavy pursuit.
Unfortunately, Mahri doesn't realize the Healer she's kidnapped is Korl, the Prince of Sea Forest, until it's too late. The only thing that matters is that Korl is a Healer and he will help her family and the other villagers. Mahri will see to that. What she isn't quite as clear on is why she finds Korl so attractive with his golden hair and mesmerizing green eyes. And this journey, confined in her small boat, is fraught with danger and desire.
As she travels with the handsome Prince, she discovers a bizarre plot from the Natives, the original inhabitants of the planet. They want Mahri and Korl to fall in love and form a union that will bring the poor of Sea Forest into a more equal footing with the elite city dwellers. When Korl seems to fall in love with her easily, she believes he's being unconsciously induced to think he's in love by the Natives. Even though she finds him almost irresistible, Mahri is afraid of losing her independence and, worse, of being left broken-hearted again, as she was by the deaths of her husband and son. Beneath the Thirteen Moons is the story of how she comes to terms with those deaths and learns to risk her heart again.
Ms. Kennedy has created one of the most detailed, fabulously rich cross genre stories I've read in a very long time. Beneath the Thirteen Moons combines an alien world, alien life forms and a fantastical form of mental power to create a fascinating blend of SF and Fantasy. The world of Beneath the Thirteen Moons is richly textured, the characters fully realized and the love story is powerful as well as highly sensual.
If you love books that combine SF with Fantasy, treat yourself to a Christmas present and get this book. You'll love it!