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    Fast-paced political drama on a colorful world

    This series is an unusual, fascinating blend of urban fantasy and science fiction, set in a different version of our solar system. The protagonists encounter green humans, colonists from Venus, and even dragons as well as malevolent sorcerers and militia from the space-faring, system-wide Empire intent on conquering and absorbing the planet into its domain. We are also introduced to a wide array of intelligent plants, creatures, and spirit beings native to Prometheus (Uranus) in an ecosystem far removed from our own. Like most good fantasy series, this story centers around a quest, and for the protagonists, it is a journey of self-realization. At the heart of the tale are two friends from contemporary London. Thomas is a man with little interest in the foolishness of magic, while his friend Lucy reads Tarot with an accepting, open mind. Curiously, when the pair find themselves boxed into a difficult encounter with irrational police, they readily accept the help of a bizarre, other-worldly being known as The Mariner who whisks them across time and space to the drama unfolding on Prometheus. Interesting. The native guide who meets them is Aina, a young woman well versed in her own natural magic who sees Thomas and Lucy as "The Bright Ones," a prophesied pair who will claim the keys of power that will turn the tide against the Empire. Aina's small country of Silvan is about to be overrun with off-world mercenaries brought in by the Empire to shut down the resistance movement and install imperial rule. Thomas and Lucy are swept into Sylvan's struggle alongside Aina as they search for the objects of power in the possession of the Empire and become targets for Lord Anlair and his dangerous minions. The author's writing style is clean and solid, and the dialog moves briskly. The aspects I love most about the book are the well thought-out and intuitively grasped psychic and magical abilities that awaken within the characters. Aina and Lucy's talent for speaking telepathically with animals, plants, and beings of the deep forests as well as the technical devices of the Empire showed depth of understanding by the author. I was especially fascinated by the skills Thomas develops in reading and directing energy within the planet and his ability to move through "solid" rock. Waaaay cool! The action is non-stop and gripping. The characters grow, make mistakes, lose friends. Sometimes their choices are not ones I would make and are frustrating to watch, but ultimately, their magical achievements, along with the imaginative scope of beings of Prometheus make this quite an exciting read. As soon as I finished the first book, I jumped onto Amazon to buy the second. This author is a talent to watch.
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