The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

An escaping pigeon leads Cal Mooney across Liverpool to Mimi’s house, where he discovers a carpet with amazing properties. He and Suzanna, Mimi’s granddaughter, become involved in an intense struggle for the carpet, facing the evil Immacolata the Incantatrix and her henchman, Shadwell the Salesman. The struggle sweeps across England as Cal and Suzanna try to find the carpet and the magical land that is woven into it, as well as a book of fairy tales that Mimi had given Suzanna. In the course of their struggles, Suzanna discovers that she has the menstruum, an immense flow of power within her.

Suzanna and Cal are joined by several of the Seerkind, who materialize out of a scrap ripped from the carpet. They tell of the history of the carpet, how the Seerkind wove themselves and their favorite magic places into the Fugue and then hid from the Scourge in the lands thus created. The Scourge had been seeking out and destroying all the Seerkind.

Suzanna and Cal’s struggle with the Immacolata climaxes at Shadwell’s auction for the carpet, when the Weave is severed and all the principals tumble into the Fugue. These include Hobart, the vengeful police officer who had been chasing Suzanna and the Seerkind. After a brief respite in this multifaceted magic kingdom, Suzanna becomes guardian of the carpet and is separated from Cal. She flees across England to escape Shadwell and Hobart. Shadwell poses as the Prophet and once again gets the carpet...

(The entire section is 471 words.)