A Play of Shadow
Julie E. Czerneda
DAW, Nov 4 2014, $20.00
In the unique village of Marrowdell on the vortex of two worlds, truthseer Bannan Larmensu relishes his time with his beloved Jenn Nalynn the turn-born with sei magic. Jenn is scared to enter the magical Verge where she was born at A Turn of Light sunset for fear of causing the convergence and subsequent destruction of the magic and the mortal planes; though she rationally accepts having the love of Bannan enables her to do so without harming others. Perhaps as frightening is the prospect of his sibling Lila rejecting her as unacceptable as a sister-in-law.
With his nephews arriving in Marrowdell, Bannan learns that his brother-in-law went to Channen, Mellynne on a peace mission, but vanished. He also concludes their mom sent them to him to see to their safety, which means Lila searches for her missing mate. Knowing he cannot ignore Lila’s plight, Bannan arranges for the kids to remain in the village while he searches for their parents; but to have any chance of success, he needs Jenn’s help. Though loathing making this request of her, reluctantly Bannan asks a frightened Jenn to overcome her Verge phobia and accept her magic duality to use her talent to take him into the dangerous realm where dragons and worse reside. Surviving those impossible odds, they would next face hostility in malevolent Mellynne.
The second Night’s Edge fantasy is an enjoyable quest thriller occurring mostly in the mystical Verge and dark magical Mellynne starring two fully-developed protagonists who will have the audience saying yes to the Lovin’ Spoonful’s Do You Believe In Magic? Although the action seems somewhat muted, readers will appreciate touring Czerneda’s realm with the truthseer and the turn-born as our guides.