The Authority

The Authority ISBN: 9781540420237 by Ashley R. Carlson.

Plot: Duchess Ambrosia La Marck has initiated a struggle against the reigning King of Legalia because of her abhorrence of practices used by him and his government. In the first of this series (not read) apparently she had been discovered to have kidnapped the King’s Deacon and killed numerous of the country’s military and escaped with supporters in a dirigible. It crashes but some survive and stop to make the ship remains invisible which can be done because it was made from Caleb’s blood and he is a ‘Charismatic Evader’ who can disappear. Finally they arrive safely at ALLIT YEM, where all injuries are healed by the Remidies. Ambrosia wants to return to find her missing Advocate who was stolen by Evelyn Smyle and also bury the bodies of friends left behind when they had to flee the downed craft. Instead, she is prevailed upon to be the rallying point for gathering all of the downtrodden groups to rise up and defeat the powerful reigning King’s army. To do this she and others of the Charismatics must act as emissaries to these often dangerous groups of Winged Giants, Dragons, malicious fairies and others. Simultaneously she must fight the growing belief within her that she truthfully is the predicted Authority who was designated as the one who was to end all within their universe. Action is plentiful and this volume ends by providing an entrée to the next in the series.

Discussion: NOTE – the following discussion must include the fact that this reviewer has NOT read the first book in this series and must offer the admonishment that this is not recommended if the prospective reader enjoys somewhat ‘far-out’ fantasy. The author states that this book is for “…. those who fight the darkness within” and includes an opening quote from Shakespeare’s MACBETH “Stars. Hide your fires: Let not light see my black and deep desires.” She then provides a ‘life-line’ for the uninitiated with an introduction to Known Types of Charismatics and to individuals who contain these abilities: “Alius – Individuals with heightened awareness and interpretation of the spiritual realm. In rare cases, can summon spirits for communication.” Authority: “…gifted with a spirit guardian/companion called an “advocate””. Avian – ability to fly; Creaturio – transform into animals; Deterrent – can create aversion in a specific area as protection; Diviner – heightened awareness of individuals’ innermost thoughts through skin-to-skin contact; Evader – become invisible; Levita – super speedsters; Materios – can manipulate matter; Prolium – ability to take over and control others’ consciousness: Remedy – healing abilities; Sibyl – sense others’ minds and telepathically communicate; Sensae – influence and affect others’ mood; Tempest – control and manipulate the weather. This is followed by a map of the Legalia Run World and one of the Uncivilized Places before starting this volume. The story then follows the plot described. The specifics offered help the unenlightened eventually to gain an understanding of the story’s thrust. Generally, it is well-written, the presentation is acceptable and the concept interesting, probably even fascinating to the fantasy aficionado. Unfortunately however, for the reader who is not a strong fantasy devotee, the number and diversity of characters and their intertwining activity may be a little overabundant. And to reiterate, for maximum enjoyment, it is apparent that the first book in the series MUST be read first.

3* 4* possibly more for fantasy aficionado who started with Book One.

Return to Intermezzo

Return to Intermezzo ISBN: 9781682940518, Desert Breeze Publishing, an e-book format by Nancy Kay.

Plot: MacKane (Kane) Maguire, a retired Pennsylvania State Police Lieutenant had rented a cottage on the shores of Lake Erie for the month of August. Mylinda (Lyn) Oakes, also retired, had done the same. Through a rental agency error, both have rented the same cottage and the small town is overflowing with summer visitors so absolutely nothing else is available. Making matters worse is the mindset of each protagonist. Although a well-conditioned, quite handsome man in his fifties, and she an exceptionally beautiful woman of approximately the same age, neither was ‘looking for any romantic adventure’. Each was looking forward to simple ‘down time’ to relax and recharge. Lyn had had a well-paying responsible position and grown children with a man to whom she thought she had been happily married until suddenly he had left her for a much younger woman. Kane’s wife was the love of his life until suddenly dying and leaving him with two small children. His police officer status with strange hours along with other factors caused him to marry again creating a situation that ended badly and was saved only by help from his mother. Thus, although intensely annoyed, the two mature protagonists grudgingly make the intelligent decision and agree to share the cottage with assurances that other arrangements would be made as rapidly as possible. Unfortunately, this was easier said than done and days went by. Even further complications ensued when crime suddenly hit the small town and engulfed them in a situation that centered on their immediate area and intensified by the fact that Lyn had specifically selected Intermezzo because of remembrances from her childhood. Specifically, drug initiated murders occurred and surrounding evidence was associated with Lyn’s remembrances. Old and new friends of both protagonists, as well as their children, play an important role in the story’s development and an interesting sub-plot that includes a recovering drug addict and his son provides additional interest as the tale gradually unfolds into a dangerous situation for Lyn and leads to an emotional climax that mystery/romance devotees will love.

Discussion: Intermezzo is one of several books by this author I have reviewed and invariably reach the same conclusion. Nancy Kay writes creditable and enjoyable mystery stories and probably is the best portrayer of ‘mature’ romance writing today. Specifically, she provides an insightful picture of the thought and action patterns developed by these individuals who have encountered the annoying and often greatly distressing vicissitudes of life and have survived. And quite contrary to the long held belief that sexual desire disappears with youth, she emphasizes the understanding that only gradually is dawning on a more enlightened (?), intelligent (?) population that love is not the sex act per se. That this is an expression of the deeper, encompassing sense of togetherness that should, and can, exist between a man and woman.

5* Another, most enjoyable Nancy Kay mystery/romance.