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Posted March 4, 2013
Posted June 12, 2012
An original fantasy infused with elements of magical realism, A Time Never Lived follows the journey of Victorio Finder, heir to an unusual gift that may be the only hope in the search for his vanished father Ethen. When a strangely familiar key triggers a vision, Victorio embarks on a quest that will take him across the Bloodbane Sea, through the Dead City and into the Dragonback Mountains, where those who go in never come out. He does not travel alone. Vic’s estranged lover Cesilee, the mysterious Myrie Raleven, the fallen prince Quin, and the crafty merchant Sully all form part of this conflict-ridden group, bound together not so much by affection as by a common purpose.
A Time Never Lived takes place several years after DeFino’s first novel Finder, and includes some of the same characters. Those of you who read and enjoyed Finder will love this companion novel. A Time Never Lived is, however, a stand-alone work, so you do not need to have read Finder in order to understand the events of this new book.
DeFino builds a vivid and authentic society set in a Mediterranean-style world. We can easily see ourselves having a cup of tea with her characters, or getting drunk (and suffering through the resulting hangover) with them, or traveling through the hills, deserts and cities of their world. We learn to recognize the cultural background of each character by their words and mannerisms, and we understand the challenges, conflicts and injustices they face because it all seems somehow a part of our own history.
Layered over this, we have the trials and tribulations of protagonists who are thoroughly human: talented, creative, flawed, deceptive, proud, insecure, and most of all adventuresome. The lives of the protagonists are embedded in a community of minor characters whose own desires and personal challenges are woven through the primary conflict, adding even dimension, color and spice to the novel.
I would recommend A Time Never Lived to all readers of fantasy, especially quest-centered fantasy, and magical realism. It is a great addition to anyone’s summer reading list; a tale of love and adventure that should not be missed.
Posted October 26, 2012
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