Similar to His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman where each person’s soul is a visible extension in the form of an animal, the characters of the world Cerea are each accompanied by an animal totem that is selected for them at birth by the local Shaman. Featuring twins Geanna, with her totem Iris the swallow, and Gentian, with Tern the lynx, we observe the traditions and magic of the world of Cerea.
Geanna wants to break with tradition. She is not interested in woman’s work and would rather run the family farm. Gentian wants to keep tradition and marry a young woman from a large farm in the area, expanding his father’s farm, and raising a family in a similar tradition. However, Gentian appears to be blessed (or cursed) with the ability to dreamwalk and to communicate with his deceased mother. The Shaman wants to take him on for training, meaning he would have to break with tradition and give up his dreams of marriage and inheriting the farm.
Meanwhile, drought and animals are damaging the crops, and some people are acting strangely, including the twins’ father Jerrod.
This story kept me interested in reading, and I was willing to absorb this fantasy world that seems to be from some unknown ancient Earth history or possibly on another planet where the same Roman gods rule: Zeus, Demeter, Hades, etc. Other than the language seeming very modern with its turns of phrase, the conversations flow in a natural pattern and are easy to read. The story seemed to be written toward younger adults with simpler language and vocabulary, though I’m not sure if it is classified as such.
4 Stars –Kept me entertained and curious as to the outcome of the story.