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Summary

Almost 3,000 years after an extinction-level event on Earth, mankind seeks to regain its former glory in a new world where magic and technology collide. 

As the aftermath of the war against Avalon settles and life in the lands of Sparo returns to a semblance of order, the matron of the library, Emily, also known lovingly as the Queen of the Scrolls, decides it is time for her to return home.  

It was revealed in the war that Emily possessed magic and had come from lands faraway to observe the people of Sparo and document their culture as the First Seeker of her Sect. Her homeland, New Cali, lay far to the south beyond the Fringe and out into the Uninhabitable Lands.  

The diminutive librarian had determined that Sparo had surpassed New Cali in both knowledge and technology, even though they were still a people capable of great violence, and thus it was time that the two people met, to share their cultures and knowledge with each other.  

An expedition is arranged, led by the Great Mother of the Mountain Gypsies, Laney of Wexbury. Laney faces her greatest challenge to date while confronting dark buried within her that is fighting to get out.  

Old and new enemies abound, and if she survives what is in store for her, Laney will never be the same again.

©2019 Erik Schubach (P)2020 Tantor

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“I gots a Verna.”

I like to get the nitpicks out of the way first. The editing could be tightened up. Even just a good Beta reader would help catch a lot of the edits required. All authors are prone to mistakes, or habits, that another point of view will often catch. Tis the nature of the beast.

But that's it, that's the nitpick. Now normally that's enough to have me pulling out my hair, and muttering the more colourful invectives under my breath. Not so with this series of books.

I love the world built up in this series, I adore the characters. The dialogue is witty, or serious as needed. When required there is an emotional hand that reaches up and grabs hold of you. Throughout the series I have found myself laughing, to crying, to feeling just about every emotion in between. Hollie Jackson has done a great job as narrator, and cleverly weaves those ebbs and flows of the story together.

My two favourite parts so far are, one: in an earlier book when Emily has hold of the dictionary, and Laney knows she's not letting go of that any time soon. Two: in this book, “I gots a Verna.” Just ideal settings for the characters both times. There are other moments I have savored almost as much, just far too many to mention.

So yes, I have become emotionally invested in these people and their lives. To the point where I avidly await the next installment. I don't think there is a much better compliment to give an author. Thank you, Mr. Erik Schubach, for bringing us along on the journey.

There are only two other authors who have written a book series that have had me so emotionally invested.

In parting, (in my very meagre Welsh from living in the Welsh Marches) I look at the clock, and bid you, 'nos da'. Good night.