Visions of Magic
Signet, Feb 1 2011, $7.99
Although not at fault as it was an avaricious coven that almost destroyed the world in their power grab centuries ago, Torin the Eternal Guardian and his peers were forced to wait centuries impatiently for the magic to reawaken so that he would finally be with his reincarnated witch. Like a cosmic joke the Reawakening has begun a decade ago in Long Beach, California. A warrior he seeks his mate.
The power seekers use the reemergence of witches as a social divide issue. Witches are hunted and burned as obscene pariahs. Lincoln Middle School teacher Shea Jameson’s aunt was executed as a witch, so her niece scampers from one locale to the next. Upset by what one of her students said happened to her mom, when a mugger tries to steal her purse using a knife, she reacts by calling for fire. Immediately, those in the school parking lot become a mob calling her witch. Torin saves her but she is now hunted. He knows she is his destiny, but as they team up with other such pairings, they must erect a potentially lethal artifact while the government leaders send mercenaries to hunt them down.
The first Awakening urban romantic fantasy uses the premise that government and other patriots act by ignoring the First Amendment rights under the guise of national security; which in real American history has occurred. Using that theme of a race hunted down i.e., Japanese-Americans sent to camps during WWII), Regan Hastings provides a powerful but dark thriller. The story line is fast-paced with deep characterizations that make the Awakening of magic seem real. However, it is the underlying social issue of burning the Bill of Rights that makes this a terrific cautionary tale; mindful of Benjamin Franklin’s warning: “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security”.