Leopard in Exile

~ 2nd Novel in the Carolus Rex Series by Andre Norton

Written with Rosemary Edghill



Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of 2001 dustjacket ~

England, 1807 --- It was not long ago that the Duchess of Wessex was Sarah Cunningham, a young American mourning the loss of her father, until she was swept up by magic into a parallel universe with history different from her own. Finally settling into her new life among the English nobility, even getting used to the elaborate gowns, Sarah is suddenly yanked back to her home in America, but it's not the America she knew.
Confronted with her old life, her old loves, familiar places, and the rough-and ready frontier life, Sarah must also face a political and religious conspiracy that challenges’ her every belief. The spirits of the land seek her help in saving Native American ways; her friend Meriel begs her to help find her lost husband, the rightful King of France, and to aid in retrieving the Holy Grail, sought also by the Marquis de Sade for the most foul purposes.
And Sarah's love, the Duke of Wessex, is always close behind, balancing the desire to save his wife from unknown perils, his need to save the King of France from Napoleon's and de Sade's clutches, and his responsibility to save King Charles II's England from those who would destroy it.
If Sarah and Wessex can find one another and confront the powers that stand between them and a peaceful world, perhaps there is hope, for England, for France, for the Americas, and the natives trying to preserve their way of life in their wild lands. 


Write-up from the rear of the 2002 paperback edition ~

Under King Charles II, England's New World colonies are flourishing, as is France's colony Louisianne. Napolean is the dreaded Master of the European continent . . . And Sarah Cunningham, a woman from our own world, knows all too well what a difference this makes, for not long ago she was ripped from her life as a United States citizen in our history. Sarah, now the Duchess of Wessex, journeys to North America with her new husband, the Duke - but this is no pleasure trip. The fate of the world - New and Old - rests on her saving her friend Meriel, rescuing Louis, rightful King of France, from the clutches of the Marquis de Sade, and finding the Holy Grail. But she and her beloved Duke are beset by perils that will test their strength and spirit to the utmost.


Write-ups from fans ~

The Duchess of Wessex (formerly Sarah Cunningham of New York in a parallel universe) returns to America in an attempt to help her friend Meriel find her kidnapped husband, the exiled King of France.  Of course, Sarah's husband the Duke, follows her and together they save the exiled king, thwart the Marquis de Sade in his ambitious plan to take over not only France, but New France (Louisiana Territory, in Sarah's original universe) and crush a voodoo uprising in New Orleans.  Sarah's experiences in the forests of the New World, and her expertise with firearms. along with her independence on a "male protector" is a positive benefit to the party, as they have to make their way through the wilderness. ~ SL


This is a sequel to The Shadow of Albion. It picks up a few weeks after Louis (the Dauphin {true heir to the French throne}) and his wife, Meriel, are rescued by the Duke and Duchess of Wessex. Louis wants nothing to do with the ruling of France and moves to England's American colonies and wind up in Baltimore. Meanwhile, Napoleon has appointed The Marquis de Sade (an EVIL sorcerer) as Governor of Louisiana. De Sade's agents discover Louis's whereabouts and have him kidnapped to use as a human sacrifice to help him find the Holy Grail which he wants to gain ultimate power. Meriel sends a letter begging help from Sarah, the Duchess of Wessex. She then stops in a church to pray and is visited by an Angel who tells her that she must go into the wilderness and find the Holy Grail and take it to New Orleans. Three weeks later Sarah arrives in Baltimore. She sets out to visit this world's analog of a Cree village of her own world. The people are the same, but they don't recognize her. They agree to help her find her Meriel. Then the Duke shows up looking for Sarah and follows her with the help of his partner. Unbeknownst to All parties concerned, Jean Lafitte the pirate king of the Gulf has attacked the ship with de Sade's agents and now holds Louis. De Sade has been torturing and killing people left and right and is trying to learn the secrets of Voodoo by torturing its practitioners. The book shifts back and forth between all the hunting parties that are headed for New Orleans for the final showdown on Halloween. High adventures, darkest sorcery and divine guidance are sprinkled throughout this novel. ~ PG


Reviews ~

Kirkus Reviews ~ Issue: March 15th, 2001
Second in the series of historical fantasy/romance adventures (The Shadow of Albion, 1999) from the team of F/SF grandmaster Norton and mystery writer Edghill. In this alternate early 1800s, the Stuarts held on to the British throne, the American colonies never revolted, and Napoleon has conquered most of Europe. Sarah Cunningham, once of modern Baltimore in our world, has magically become the Marchioness of Roxbury; her husband, Rupert, Duke of Wessex, is England’s most accomplished spy. Sarah receives a letter from her friend Lady Meriel, who has secretly married Louis, the heir to the throne of France, who has in turn mysteriously vanished. Napoleon, meanwhile, has dispatched the Marquis de Sade to the Louisiana territory to secure the Holy Grail: in a vile ritual, de Sade summons the devil himself to show him where it is. As for Meriel, the Virgin Mary urges her to find the Grail before de Sade, so by the time Sarah arrives, Meriel has disappeared also. In the meantime, Rupert betrayed by treachery at the highest level in England’s White Tower spy network, ends up a fugitive with a price on his head.
Much as before: dauntless heroines, dashing heroes, deviltry, and intrigue against a solid historical backdrop. While independently intelligible, this should especially please fans of the previous two.


Review by Publishers Weekly ~ April 01, 2001

Veterans Norton and Edghill's sequel to The Shadow of Albion (1999) fails to do full justice to its rich setting and promising premise an early 19th-century alternative world where the American Revolution never happened and where magical spells are as real as rapiers. Since there's been no Louisiana Purchase, Napoleon is free to put the Marquis de Sade in charge of New Orleans. Swarms of characters work to thwart de Sade's diabolical schemes as well as to reunite lovers. Thomas Jefferson is just a loyal colonial official, so if anyone is to act fast enough to save North America from de Sade, it'll have to be an uneasy alliance of secret agents. Meanwhile the tribal deities of the unsubjugated Indians are as powerful as the Christian saints in trying to influence the future. Despite all the action, the story never comes to life. Maybe there are too many characters to keep track of, let alone care about, in short scenes that jump all over the landscape. Maybe this being the second book in a series reduces concern that the hero and heroine won't come through successfully. Maybe the routine prose and the frequent self-congratulatory footnotes slow the story down. Fans of Regency romances and contra-historical fantasies should enjoy it anyway; other readers probably will appreciate the authors' ingenuity but feel disappointed that all the swashbuckling spies and magical intrigue add up to so little. (Apr. 30) Forecast: Fans of SF and Fantasy Grand Master Norton may suspect that coauthor Edghill (the pseudonym of Eluki Bes Shahar) wrote the bulk of the book which could undercut sales.


Various reviews ~ For more info and other listings see Articles Over the Years

2001 by Penny Hill in Vector #220


Dedications and Acknowledgements ~

To Teresa Nielson Hayden and Jennara Wenk for industrial-strenght eleventh-hour hand-holding. And to Harry and Bandit, for Cavalier Attitude and being Very Patient.


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (2001) Published by TOR, HC, 0-312-86428-0, $24.95, 347pg ~ cover by Thomas Canty {Cream paper Boards}
  • (2001) Published by SFBC, HC, # 36476, $12.50, 347pg ~ cover by Thomas Canty {Black Paper Boards, # 36476 on Rear of Dust Jacket}
  • (2002) Published by TOR, PB, 0-812-54540-0, $6.99, 363pg ~ cover by Thomas Canty
  • (2020) Published by Swallows End Publishing, DM, $3.99, 329pg ~ cover by Thomas Canty


Non-English Editions ~

  • (2003) Published in Moscow, by Eksmo and St. Petersburg, by Domino, 5-699-02916-8, HC, 480pg ~ translation by N.I. Nekrasov ~ cover by Don Maitz ~ Russian title Леопард в изгнании [Leopard in Exile]


Ukrainian Omnibus Editions ~

  • (2017) Published in Kyiv, Ukraine by Globe (Fanzine) ~ cover by Sandara Tang ~ Russian title Прославляя Короля. Звёздные ко’оты [Praising the King. Star Co'ot] ~ Limited to 10 copies


    • "The Shadow of Albion" as "Shadow of Albion" ~ translation by O. Stepashkina, pp. 5-295
    • "Leopard in Exile" as "Leopard in exile" ~ translation by N. Nekrasova, pp. 297-566
    • "Star Ka'at" as "Star Co'ot" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 567-608
    • "Star Ka'at World" as "The World of Star Co'ot" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 609-657
    • "Star Ka'ats and the Plant People" as "Star co'otes and intelligent plants" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 659-699
    • "Star Ka'ats and the Winged Warriors" as "Star co'ots and winged warriors" ~ translation by D. Arseniev, pp. 701-752




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