Saturday, June 18, 2016

All of Katherine Kerr: But Especially A Time of Omens

In a world filled with tropes and stereotypes, Katherine Kerr stands out, with her Westland's Cycle. She merges the old school Celtic knotted style storytelling with modern character development and gripping fantasy. The interesting thing about her series is that you can pick up any book of the fourteen and not feel like you've missed a thing.

Kerr follows the same four main figures, a star crossed couple, separated and brought together time and again by magic and destiny, a jealous former husband who- through his incarnations- develops into an incredible person, a half elf wanderer and an itinerant sorceress. Their lives and reincarnations weave into and out of each other as magic keeps them in this world longer than most, and you are drawn back into the karmic twists of what is stolen and owed from each life as they find each other again.

Deverry is a colorful, magical world with heavy Welsh overtones and it grows along with the characters and their stories. It's fascinating to watch the complex interweave of their lives as it affects the politics and cultures of Deverry and its surrounding islands. Magic has been living on the other side of reality in an every changing in-between and is slowly merging back with the modern realm. Wizards and sorceresses are the only ones who can cross over, and time goes mad when they do.

This installation features the half elf wanderer Ebany as he moves from his clan of entertainers to chase a familiar Tarot deck into slavery and one of the older main characters- the cursed lover Jill- as she takes the place of her mentor Nevyn. The war that is being brought on by the merge of magic is just starting to unfold and there is a heavier focus on political intrigue.

It's a struggle to follow the natural order as they move through their lives, but each of the main characters- whose names change as their lives cross over- find that the flow of this world is eventually the only thing that matters. And that leaving the past behind requires satisfying it, and can bring you peace.

Interested? Buy it here.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Ill Wind: From Fantasy to Quanta

Joanne is a Weather Warden, a guardian of the Earth with the ability to see into the in between and change chains of electrons and molecular patterns on a large scale to protect the world from chaos. The catch? Nobody knows it but other Wardens.

It's not hard for Joanne to hide in plain sight, with a serious lust for heels, bikinis and cars, a thing for hot guys and the right kind of attitude to work a regular job she blends right into society. The only time things fall apart for her is when a major Boom goes off in the otherworld and she finds that she's got some explaining to do.

Unfortunately that happens an awful lot to her over the course of the next few years (and six or seven books), as the Wardens have been corrupted, possibly by the Djinn that they keep captive. She makes the mistake of falling in love with a Djinn and is given other eyes as she travels through to the flip side of reality. Most of the Djinn are kept trapped in bottles and the Wardens know that the only way to trap a Demon is to attach it to a Djinn and lock them both in a bottle for all of eternity. Great for humanity- not so much for the Djinn.

She finds herself caught in a power struggle between the Old Boys Club of the Wardens, the rebellion of the Djinn and her own boring life (which finds some spice when a crazy sister gets thrown in for good measure). The only answer is a six cylinder engine, a pair of great heels and a seriously revolutionary attitude.

Ill Wind is the first in a great series of books that combines the usual heat and fun of female centric worlds with the basics of energy as it moves through magic and into quantum physics. Smart, fun and funny, it's an awesome series to bring the usual mysteries involved in religion and the modern psyche into a more logical take on reality.

Demons and witches and hot Djinn- oh my.

Love it? Buy it here.