This story is the retelling of Tristan and Iseult in modern terms where the lovers communicate with portable phones and fax machines. It soars freely into the realm of invention, wittily weaving language and emotion into an intoxicatingly glamorous romance. No less marvelous are its imagining of a sixth century era faught with the same backbiting, conniving, and petty jealousies we experience today. Blanchefleur, mother of Tristan, in her first great, fully realized starring performance, makes a heroine so breathtaking that she seems utterly grand, absolutely plausible. Her most endearing feature is that she fluently and confidently speaks an elegand, almost Shakespearean language with astonishing ease, smitten, as she is, with love of charm and beauty. Here is a great American book that aspires to be a belletristic meditation on love and sex, art, trust, politics, science and popular culture. With utter simplicity and unexpectedly intense storytelling it achieves all that and more.