Cover image for The night drifter
The night drifter
Carroll, Susan, 1952-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Ballantine Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
332 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Grand Island Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Lancaster Library X Adult Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



A young widow struggles to summon the magical forces that will enable her to save her new love, a Cornish nobleman who roams the night in spirit form, from a shadowy enemy.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

In a desperate search for a stolen family sword, Lance St. Leger uses his "night drifting" ability to let his spirit slip through the walls of the local innÄand right into the presence of Lady Rosalind Carlyon, who romantically assumes he is the ghost of Sir Lancelot looking for Excalibur. But Lance is definitely real; and when Rosalind faints at the sight of him in the home of the St. Leger Bride Finder and then revives to learn she has been named Lance's intended bride, her sheltered life abruptly takes a turn for the more adventurousÄand the more romantic. Old rivalries, real danger, and an ancient curse combine in this mesmerizing, hauntingly beautiful love story that will linger in readers' minds. The award-winning Carroll, who continues the story of the mysterious, strangely gifted St. Leger family begun in her best-selling The Bride Finder (Columbine: Fawcett, 1998), lives in Rock Island, IL.ÄKR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



It was the kind of night in which anything could happen.         Magic. Moonlight. The sea roared like a dragon, breathing a soft mist that slowly enveloped the land. A stalwart figure drifted along the rocky shoreline, appearing to be an apparition in his glinting chain mail and dark tunic ... a ghostly knight from King Arthur's court who had wandered into the nineteenth century by mistake and couldn't quite manage to find his way back to Camelot. But Lance St. Leger was merely a man attired in the costume he had worn to the Midsummer's Eve fest, a costume he had not yet troubled to remove. He had far more important matters on his mind. He studied the overturned hull of an abandoned fishing boat. The sea raked cold fingers of foam across the sand, obliterating all traces of any footsteps. But Lance was certain this was the place where he had been attacked only an hour before, surprised by a hooded brigand and rendered unconscious. When Lance had awoken, he had found his watch and signet ring missing. But that had not been the worst of it. The thief also had taken his sword, the one that had been in his family for generations, a weapon as steeped in mystery and magic as the St. Leger name itself. When the sword had first been handed down to Lance on his eighteenth birthday, he had sensed the power in it. Merely touching the hilt had somehow made him feel stronger, better, more noble. He had earnestly recited the pledge that all St. Leger heirs were required to give. That the sword would be employed only in a just cause. That it would never be used to shed the blood of another St. Leger. And when the day came that he married, he would offer it up to his bride as a symbol of his undying love, along with his heart and soul forever. But that had been a long time ago. Back when Lance still believed in such things as just causes, magic, and true love. Back when he still believed in himself.... Lance's lip curled in contempt at his own folly. He had certainly made mistakes in the past, brought enough disgrace to his family's name, but this was by far the worst thing he'd ever done. Allowing that sword to be stolen. Not true, a sad voice whispered in his ear. The worst thing was what you did to your brother, Val. But Lance refused to think about Val. He was already racked with enough guilt over the disappearance of that infernal sword. Despairing of uncovering any clue to his attacker on the beach, Lance turned and headed up the path toward the village. Recently cashiered out of the service, Lance moved as he would forever more, with the military bearing of a man who had spent nearly nine years as an officer in Wellington's army. Slipping quietly alongside the forge next to the blacksmith's shop, he peered toward the line of whitewashed cottages. Earlier Torrecombe had been a riot of noise and laughter, alive with all the excitement of the Midsummer's Eve festival. But the village slumbered now, not a soul stirring across the green in the center of town. Lance thought briefly of conducting a house-to-house search, only to discard the notion. He doubted that anyone from the village would have dared to attack him. The local folk were too much in awe of the St. Legers and their legends, legends of a family descended from a notorious sorcerer. The mighty Lord Prospero might have come to a disastrous end, burned at the stake, but he had passed on to his descendants a legacy of strange talents and powers of which Lance had inherited his share. No. Lance was convinced no one from the village would have trifled with a St. Leger. The thief had to have been an outsider, a stranger, and there had been plenty of those wandering through Torrecombe tonight because of the fair. Many of them were likely stopping over at the inn, and that seemed the most likely place for him to begin his search. He stole silently across the village square until the Dragonfire Inn loomed before him. A quaint building, it still bore traces of its original Tudor construction with mullioned windows and overhanging eaves. An ostler bustled about the stable yard, attending to the horse of some late arrival. Lance watched, keeping cautiously to the shadows. Long ago, he had promised his father that he would never reveal the secret of his own peculiar and frightening power to anyone outside the family. And one did not lightly break promises given to Anatole St. Leger, the dread lord of the Castle Leger. The ostler was taking a damned long time about disappearing into the stables. The blasted fool was spending more time stroking and talking to that horse than he was attending to it. Lance cast an uneasy glance toward the sky, trying to calculate how much time he had left until dawn. It would not do at all for him to be caught abroad exercising his strange gift when the sun came up. That could prove dangerous. In fact, deadly. He was filled with relief when the ostler moved on at last, leading the horse into the stables. Stealing from his hiding place, Lance drifted toward the inn. After a moment more of hesitation, he braced himself. And shimmered straight through the wall. Excerpted from The Night Drifter by Susan Carroll All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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