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.
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About the Book:
An earth-like world of high-tech humans faces the reality that their world is not as safe as they thought it was. Five people are thrown together to quietly get to the bottom of an unfathomable mana event that must stay quiet. If the population of Terath becomes aware of the truth,
it will spark a civil war. That war would pit the majority of the population against the powerful minority with the ability to harness and manipulate mana. The resulting cataclysm would decimate the population and tear apart the foundation of society.
The five people chosen for this must reconsider everything they thought they knew about mana, even as they learn to trust one another’s abilities. They must embrace everything they never wanted in order to prevent the devastation of their world. One of them will be forever changed. Love will be denied, badassery will be unleashed, and Terath will never be the same.
Even success comes at a price.
About the Author:
Zen DiPietro is a lifelong bookworm, a fantasy/sci-fi writer, a dancer, and a mom of two. Also red-haired, left-handed, and a vegetarian geek. Absolutely terrible at conforming. Particular loves include badass heroines, Star Trek, British accents, baba ganoush, and the smell of Band-Aids. Writing reviews, author interviews, and fun stuff at www.womenofbadassery.com. Very active on Facebook, Twitter (@ZenDiPietro), and Pinterest.
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Notes from Writerbee:
While I’m only a third of the way through the book, I’m enjoying the carefully constructed world and the array of characters. The matching and contrasting of their personalities and abilities makes for an interesting detective team. There is a mix of magic and science that creates a blended genre that will appeal to both lover’s of fantasy and of speculative fiction. The mission is an intriguing one, and I hope to know very soon what they find out. This has been one of those books that compels me to read into each and every line and look for subtle nuances and clues, so I need just a little more time! Check back soon for a full review.
Updated Review (5/12):
I’m finally finished with this full-length, stand-alone novel. The number of characters and sub-plots kept growing as the book progressed. Terath is a world rich in magic and it is the mana-holders and manahi that control and utilize the magic. Mana is what powers everything when used in simple and controlled forms. However, harnessing too much mana at once can be disastrous.
And this is where our story begins, with an entire community reduced to ashes and no explanation as to the cause. A team of hired experts is sent to investigate.
Along the way, the author spends ample time exploring the relationships between the characters. These deep and winding emotional journeys bind the characters together at levels that display an in depth knowledge of the human condition.
I did find the “twists” in the story a little on the predictable side, but that didn’t ruin the overall story being told.
If you enjoy an epic fantasy tale that combines magic and science, pick up a copy of Guardians of Terath.
When you think of wizards, you think of ancient mystical times, with castles, kings, and dragons…Right? Well, not in Wizard Dawning. Set in the future of Earth, this story works on the premise that global warming processes have opened up pockets of magic and more people than ever before have access to special powers. You can even get a degree in magic for universities.
In the case of our protagonist, Sig, his family possesses old magic that has been passed down through the bloodline, along with the responsibility of being a Battle Wizard. These Battle Wizards fight dark magic with the use of a talisman, an artifact from an ancient time when gods and demons ruled the world. Throughout his young life, Sig has been stalked by a dark mage hoping to get his hands on that family talisman.
C.M. Lance weaves a rich tapestry of past and present where the characters live in a modern technological world with mystic secrets. The characters display full personalities that come out through the progress of the story. The relationship between the family members are wonderfully realistic, even with the complications of magical genes.
There is a lot of magic, a little bit of zombies, and some fights with demons, brought together with mythology.
Wizard Dawning (The Battle Wizard Saga Book 1) is available on Amazon.com.
This is the tale of a band of mercenaries who become tangled in a war meant to bring about the end of the world, despite their intentions to stay out of anything political. They each have their own idea of how to spend their remaining days, and fighting with a war band isn’t among them. Ultimately, they are waiting to see what comes out of the “constellation” when it aligns properly in the sky. There is quite a bit of love tangle (more than just a triangle) along the way, eruptions of magic and war, and some very dark murders.
First of all, there is a lot going on in this book, and a great number of characters to keep track of. We tend to only get a little snippet at a time from each one’s perspective. It’s almost too much for one book. It’s probably just me, but I prefer to limit the number of eyes I look through for any particular story. A large portion of the center of the book is a battle and siege. If your into bloody, epic, medieval battle sequences, this will be right up your alley.
That being said, the descriptive writing is a multi-layered tapestry suited to the Fantasy genre. Everything from the landscape to the magical manifestations is depicted with outstanding language that brings the mystical realms home. The use of historical terms for weaponry and clothing was dead-on.
I ended up giving this a 3 Star. It’s not a badly written book, by any means, though I felt there were just too many people to keep track of and many were similar to each other. I found myself wanting to rush through portions (like the long waged battle scenes) just to get back to the relationships and the ultimate peril the plot was leading up to.
Red Axe, Black Sun is available on Amazon.com