This is a winner, folks. The Lace Reader is the best-crafted modern adult novel I've read in the last five years. It's not out yet, so I'm not going to include any spoilers in this post, but the book is a great study in character development in relationship to plot and environment. The book is sometimes startling, but is never misleading. It's got all the psychological intrigue common to the modern novel or play, with enough of a sense of magic (grounded in the environment) and physical threat to satisfy a fan of Camelot and Robin Hood. The sense of place is remarkable. The characters are as vivid as the imagery. This is the type of book that you should just read: don't bother to read the back or find out what it's about; just get ahold of it and read it.