Keeper of the Way (Crossing the Line)

Written by Patricia Leslie
Review by Christine Childs

Australian, Patricia Leslie, describes herself as an urban fantasy author. Like her previous novels, Keeper of the Way combines real landscapes and events with fantasy. Her latest novel is set in Sydney in 1882, following the first Southern Hemisphere World’s Fair. Witchcraft and magic find their way from 16th-century Scotland to this 19th-century colonial outpost, with dramatic results.

The children of Sydney hotel proprietor, Rosalie Ponsonby, discover that there is more to their mother than meets the eye. Decades earlier, Rosalie had fled the Isle of Skye as a young woman, to protect an ancient family relic from falling into the hand of evil forces. Now those forces have arrived in Sydney, courtesy of Lord Algernon Benedict and his wastrel son, Clement. The Ponsonby family arm themselves for the fight of their lives.

Whilst much of the action centers on family matriarch, Rosalie, the true protagonist could be said to be her daughter, Florentine. As such, this is partially a coming-of-age love story set against a backdrop of high drama: good versus evil.

The ending contains a slightly unexpected twist that paves the way for a second novel. If you enjoy novels about magic and witchcraft, it is worth discovering Keeper of the Way for yourself. Likewise if you enjoy 19th-century historical settings, Leslie’s new novel won’t disappoint.