The Inn at Helsvlakte

Indwe - - Books - By Pa­tri­cia Schon­stein

In the Ka­roo-like land­scape of a myth­i­cal coun­try be­set with civil war, tarot cards are bran­dished and bones swiftly turn to dust. Against the back­drop of this arid place, Kitty Cloete, the innkeeper’s wife, sur­vives on her in­ner re­sources. Strong and self-willed, Kitty is a skilled equestri­enne, wheel­wright, black­smith and tal­ented harpist – none of which could shield her from an ar­ranged mar­riage after an ill-fated ro­mance. And now, dev­as­ta­tion at Helsvlakte. After State sol­diers are am­bushed by sep­a­ratist guer­ril­las, a crit­i­cally in­jured cap­tain ar­rives at the inn. For the haunted man, the soul­ful mu­sic of Kitty’s harp be­comes the elixir that brings him back to life. But drama awaits off­stage. A young man who wit­nessed the slay­ing of his fam­ily and the torch­ing of their farm hears of the cap­tain’s res­i­dence at the inn. He holds the cap­tain re­spon­si­ble for the tragedy that be­fell his loved ones, and sets out to find him.

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