When vampire chronicler Anne Rice was a child, she was held ”in thrall” by her big sister — Borchardt — who ignited Rice’s imagination by spinning fantasy adventures and tales of the supernatural. Rice grew up to be a writer; Borchardt spent 30 years as a nurse. Now Borchardt returns to her roots. The result is Devoted, a 10th-century epic romance about Elin, a lady of the Forest People, and Owen, bishop of Chantalon. With magic, mystical religion, and indomitable love on their side, they are allies in a death struggle to save their land and peoples from marauding Vikings. Borchardt’s occasional clinkers are more than balanced by frequent gems of description, so her Dark Ages saga of witches, warriors, high romance, and low-down sex will hold you in thrall, too.