Shadow Blade (Shadowchasers Series #1)

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Overview

Kira Solomon is unable to touch another living being—she draws off the energy of animate objects, “downloading” thoughts, emotions, memories...and, dangerously, draining the spirit. An antiquities specialist by day, she catalogs and defuses ancient magical artifacts; by night, she’s a Shadowchaser—a bounty hunter in the eternal struggle against the Shadow of Chaos. When Kira comes across an ancient dagger that belongs to Khefar, a 4,000 year-old Nubian warrior, the sexual tension between the two builds, and a ...

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Shadow Blade (Shadowchasers Series #1)

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Overview

Kira Solomon is unable to touch another living being—she draws off the energy of animate objects, “downloading” thoughts, emotions, memories...and, dangerously, draining the spirit. An antiquities specialist by day, she catalogs and defuses ancient magical artifacts; by night, she’s a Shadowchaser—a bounty hunter in the eternal struggle against the Shadow of Chaos. When Kira comes across an ancient dagger that belongs to Khefar, a 4,000 year-old Nubian warrior, the sexual tension between the two builds, and a sinister evil sets its sights on them both.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A powerful blend of ancient Egyptian mysticism, urban legend, and genius imagination.... This novel is on fire!" -- New York Times bestselling author L. A. Banks
Publishers Weekly
The heart-pounding first in Glass’s Shadowchasers urban fantasy series piles on the twists and turns in a supernatural Atlanta where everyone has a hidden motive. The Gilead Commission discovered Kira Solomon’s gift for psychometry when she was 12 and trained her to fight Shadow Avatars. Now 25, she mostly tries to focus on her day job as a freelance antiquities expert. Her former mentor, Bernie Comstock, brings her a 4,000-year-old Egyptian blade to authenticate, and one touch tells her it belonged to an immortal Fallen from the shadow world, who’s still seeking it. When a demon murders Bernie, Kira confronts the immortal, now disguised as a young man, but she can’t deny that the dark blade calls to her, as does its handsome owner. Kira’s personal battle against the forces of chaos will keep readers riveted. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439156797
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 1/26/2010
  • Series: Shadowchasers Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Simon & Schuster
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 4.12 (w) x 6.86 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Seressia Glass has always been a voracious reader, cutting her teeth on comics, cereal boxes, and anything else at hand. Writing her own stories soon followed. After winning the national "Living the Dream" essay contest for the inaugural Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebration in her hometown of Atlanta, Seressia realized her ability to move people with her words. Today, her fiction features diverse people realizing the universal dreams of love and acceptance. Stories have appeared recently in Vegas Bites: A Werewolf Romance Anthology edited by by bestselling author L. A. Banks and its sequels Vegas Bites and Vegas Bits Back. She's also published four romance novels, once of which, Through the Fire, was chosen for Black Expressions Book Club. Shadowblade is her fantasy debut. When not writing, Seressia is an instructional designer for an international home improvement company who loves to belly dance and watch anime.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The dagger reeked of ancient magic. Kira Solomon stared down at it, trying not to salivate with longing. The blade itself, shining spotless and deadly, swept proudly from the ornate hilt. Swirls and symbols stood out in sharp relief on the gold-banded handle that gleamed like old ivory. Even shielded by her gloves, her palms itched with the urge to lift it, to hold it in her hands, to test its weight and sharpness.

The things she could do with such a blade.

"Well?"

Kira blinked, then looked up at her client and mentor, Bernie Comstock. The professor turned art dealer stood on the other side of her worktable, eyes shining in his sharp, dark face. He didn't seem affected by the weapon's energy, which Kira supposed was just as well. Being insensitive to magic made the art dealer good at his job. Detecting magic made Kira good at hers.

"I thought I was done with being tested, Bernie."

"This isn't a test, Kira," Comstock hastened to assure her. "I trust you completely."

She gestured to the blade, nestled in a customfitted gray foam core inside an aluminum travel case. "What is this, then?"

"I'm hoping you'll tell me."

"Old man." She suppressed a sigh mixed with exasperation and wry amusement. Even though she'd more than proven herself over the years, he still liked to slip a ringer in every now and again. The mentor in him would never die. As if she needed testing to stay sharp. If she wasn't sharp, she'd be dead.

"Fine," she said at last, deciding to go along with whatever game he was playing. "The markings on the handle are worn, but look to be Egyptian." She hadn't attempted to scan the blade with her extrasense yet, but she could feel magic radiating from it. The weapon called to her with a gentle but insistent call. She wondered what would happen when she took off her gloves and touched the dagger with her bare hands.

"The blade itself appears to be bronze, the hilt carved ivory with inset gold," she murmured, reaching out to drag the task lamp closer before bending over the silvery case again. "Obviously not ceremonial, since the blade is not gold and the wear on the handle suggests considerable use. It's in the style of daggers from the Middle Kingdom, meaning, if this is authentic, that the blade is roughly four thousand years old."

Thrusting her hands into her lab coat's pockets to keep from touching the handle, Kira looked at Comstock. "Considering the pristine condition of the blade, I'd say you have a very impressive fake."

"I thought so too, especially considering where I found it." Comstock's expression reminded her even more of a fox. "That is real ivory and the construction of the blade doesn't speak to modern manufacturing technology."

Kira's hands flexed with the need to lift the blade. She stepped back from the table instead. "This looks like something Wynne might make, except I doubt she'd be able to keep the creation of something so perfect a secret from me."

"Wynne Marlowe's one of the best metalworkers in the country and not just because she doesn't use modern technology when re-creating ancient weaponry, although that's certainly part of the reason," the art dealer acknowledged. "But this isn't her work."

"You know this because...?" Wynne could certainly create a ritual weapon, Kira knew, especially if her husband Zoo channeled the magic into it. The boot daggers Wynne and Zoo had made for Kira proved that. She decided not to point the magical element out to her former mentor. It wasn't like he needed to know that Zoo was a real witch.

Comstock gave her a knowing glance. "Because, as you said, Wynne couldn't keep this a secret from you. I had a feeling that, once you'd seen it, you wouldn't let something like this out of your sight."

Kira knew he was right. The dagger was astounding as a replica. If it were the real thing...

Her gaze dropped to the blade again. She felt a little like Gollum looking at his "Precious." "You're not going to tell me how you came across this, are you?"

"And deny you the joy of discovering it for yourself when you touch it?" Comstock grinned, peeling years off his multiracial, sixty-ish face. "Besides, you know I'll share all my secrets with you only if you come to work for me."

"Come on, Bernie, you know I prefer being freelance." Kira braced one hip against the edge of the worn oak surface, idly fingering the heavy Zuni silver necklace at her throat. "I like being able to set my own schedule."

"You'd still have autonomy," Comstock wheedled. "You'd also have fewer expenses and full access to my clients and their collections."

Kira hesitated, tempted as always. She worked well with Bernie. They'd clicked from the moment she'd stumbled into him at the Petrie Museum at University College in London during one of the few summers the Gilead Commission had allowed her a break from training to fight Shadow. She'd consequently transferred to the school to study under him and had then worked freelance for him when he retired from teaching, reduced his duties at the museum, and expanded his private antiquities business. At times she fantasized she'd even be happy working for him, surrounded by ancient artifacts and books, far away from people and things no human should ever know existed.

That happiness wouldn't last, though. One day Bernie would look at her and begin to wonder. She knew the questions would start — questions about her frequent absences, her penchant for dropping everything to run off to every corner of the globe, returning home bruised if not bloodied. Eventually he'd come to realize his former apprentice was using her job as an antiquities expert as a cover for a second, deadlier career.

Not having to answer to anyone best suited her second job, a job she preferred Comstock knew nothing about. It was one thing for Bernie to believe in magic and her ability to detect and defuse it; it was another for him to believe in demons and things that go bump in the night. Even if he could accept that much, he'd still never be convinced it was her sworn duty to eliminate the baddest of the bad: the Fallen and their Shadow Avatars. A duty she'd been trained for since she was twelve by the Gilead Commission. He wouldn't believe the Gilead Commission, the oldest and largest organization dedicated to fighting Shadow, was more advanced than the U.S. military machine and more effective than Homeland Security. He certainly wouldn't believe she'd grown up in the Commission's headquarters on the island of Santa Costa as the surrogate daughter of Balm, the ageless head of Gilead, or that her education had been more about learning to kill than learning to live.

Kira was a Shadowchaser, an elite fighter in Gilead's clandestine army. Humans with extrasensory skills and paramilitary training were used to police low-level half-breeds and humans experimenting in Chaos magic. Shadowchasers were sent in when upper echelon Shadow creatures attempted to disrupt the Universal Balance and tip the world into Shadow and Chaos, usually in ways that involved high body counts.

The fact she had yet to encounter a Shadow Avatar made her lucky, she supposed. From her time in Gilead she knew humans capable of being magically and physically honed into Shadowchasers were scarce and Balm worried about the relatively small number of Chasers worldwide. It gave Kira added pressure to be good, be ready, and be a survivor.

But someday, she liked to imagine, maybe there'd be an end to Chasing, an end to the constant danger. Maybe there'd be a day when she could go to London and work with Bernie, finally go on one of the digs they'd talked about doing over the years. But, for now...

"I like being a renegade, Bernie," she said, giving him a brief smile. "If I worked for you or with you, there'd eventually come a day when one of us would piss the other off."

Comstock sighed as if he hadn't expected anything different. "You know I have to try at least once during my visits, Kira. You're like a daughter to me."

"I know." It was part of the reason she kept an ocean between them. She had enemies, dangerous enemies, and they didn't need to know how attached she was to the very human antiques dealer.

He looked about her cavernous room. "I must say, I'm glad to see you're finally starting to settle in. I can't believe you've been in one place two whole years — even if it does look like you just moved in. Atlanta agrees with you."

"I needed somewhere to put my stuff," she muttered, hunching her shoulders at the direct hit. She glanced at the organized clutter of her main floor. Boxes, notepads, and stacks of books littered the floor and lined the brick walls, piled around a haphazard mix of furniture and art that couldn't conceal the fact that her home had been a warehouse in its former life. Since she knew where everything was and never intended to have guests over to randomly touch anything and leave their imprints behind, she saw no reason to improve her current filing system. Besides, the main reason she'd picked this converted warehouse as her pied-à-terre was because it gave her ample room to display the array of weapons and other antiques she'd collected or confiscated from around the globe. It was also the only reasonably priced place she could find with a couple of underground storage areas she'd repurposed for her altar room and more dangerous collections.

"About the blade." Comstock gestured, drawing her attention to the heavy oak worktable again. "Could its excellent condition be indicative of magic?"

"Oh, there's definitely some sort of magic tied to it." The magical lure of the dagger was obvious to Kira and that, in and of itself, made her hesitate in touching it. If there was some sort of curse or impulse attached to the dagger, she didn't want to take hold of it with a defenseless Normal in the room. "It's extremely powerful to have lasted all these centuries, if it's authentic."

"Even if it's a replica, I'm interested in its history. It's already valuable, but once you authenticate it, its value will be off the charts."

She arched an eyebrow. "And if I say it's a fake?"

"Kira." He raised a hand as if to reach across the table and pat her gloved hand, then quickly lowered it. "Its value goes up just by having you touch it."

"Ah-ha. Now the truth comes out." She folded her arms across her chest, so she wouldn't be as tempted as he was to reach out and touch. It had been years since she'd voluntarily touched another human, gloved or not. "I think I'm going to have to up my fee."

"If you did, I'd happily pay every penny, as would anyone who knows what your word is worth. It just so happens that those who know are also the ones with the money." He settled back in his chair. "I think I've revealed enough secrets for today. How long do you think you'll need with the blade?"

"What, you're not going to ask to stay and watch?"

"After what happened the last time I tried to watch you work?" He visibly shuddered. "Thanks, but I've learned my lesson. I thought my eyebrows would never grow back."

"Be glad it was just your eyebrows, old man. It will probably take me longer than usual to scan the blade. There's a heck of a lot of magic surrounding it, so I want to be extra careful."

"You're always careful, even when bumbling old art dealers burst into the room."

"You rarely bumble, Bernie, and I've always suspected you weren't — "

The art dealer cut her off. "Kira..."

"Hmm?" She frowned at the odd note in his voice. "What's wrong?"

"I, well, I just wanted to say that I'm proud of you, Kira. Despite your circumstances, you've become a gifted and talented young woman. I feel a fatherly pride for all you've accomplished."

"Bernie." She didn't know what to say. Especially since the stories she'd told him of her past were just that, stories. Believable fictions that were nowhere close to the unbelievable truth.

He cleared his throat as he climbed to his feet. "Never mind the maudlin thoughts of an old man. Do you think you'll be able to get free for dinner? We really should catch up."

"Of course. Are you staying at the usual place?"

"Georgian Terrace, room six-forty."

"Got it." Kira straightened to her full height, topping Comstock's five-seven frame by a couple of inches. She smiled, unable to resist another dig. "Shall I pick you up?"

Comstock shuddered again. "Do you still have the death trap?"

"That death trap is a hundred-grand worth of prime street muscle." The Buell motorcycle was her baby and the money for its purchase and unique customization was well spent. Its speed and concealed weapons cache had saved her life on more than one occasion.

"I think I'll pass on the ride," Comstock said. "I did a little research and found a restaurant I'd like to try. It's on Peachtree, just a short walk from the hotel. I can meet you there instead."

"What's it called?"

"Dogwood. It actually has a grits bar!"

"A grits bar? Can't we just go to a Waffle House instead? There's almost one on every corner and they have all the grits you can stand."

He gave her a reproachful look. "I'm a gourmand, Kira. You know I don't eat anywhere that requires a tetanus shot or a hangover."

If he'd ever been out at three in the morning and exhausted from policing hybrids and Shadow Adepts, he'd appreciate the always-open chain and its kick-youin-the-ass coffee. "All right. Dogwood it is."

After escorting the art dealer out, Kira returned to her worktable. The dagger lay as they'd left it, nestled in its specially fitted briefcase. She pondered taking it downstairs to her double-shielded office, then decided against it.

"Okay," she muttered, "time to see what you're made of."

Bracing her gloved hands on the worktable, she leaned over and focused her attention on the dagger. Exhaling slowly, she muted the input of her Normal senses, allowing her extrasense to dominate her mind. As always, she felt a slight resistance as the ordinary and extra-ordinary slid against each other, battling for dominance. Then her extrasense assumed control, reaching through Logic's Veil to touch the current of magic.

The dagger glowed in response, a sheen having little to do with the ivory and gold shaping its hilt. Oh yes, someone or something had imbued the dagger with a great deal of magic. What she didn't know was whether it was Shadow magic or not.

She frowned, allowing the Veil to thicken again. Shadow magic was always tricky to handle, based as it was on Chaos. She hadn't been surprised in a while. Then again, she hadn't come across a four-thousandyear-old magical knife before, either.

Concentrating, she thinned the Veil again, her extrasense cocooning the dagger. The ancient magic didn't react. Encouraging. Still, Kira took her time. The last thing she wanted was to be thrown across the room by a pissed-off blade.

She straightened, peeling off the thin surgical gloves. "Time to tell me your secrets."

Kira spread her hands above the dagger. It neither welcomed nor rejected her. She supposed this was a good thing. But it seemed to be waiting for her touch, somehow expecting it — and that, she supposed, was not a good thing.

"I'm not going to harm you," she said softly. "I just want to know more about you." It wouldn't hurt to talk to the blade, give it plenty of time to decide whether she was friendly or not. That whole throwing-oneacross-the-room thing was definitely to be avoided, even if it took some extra time.

Until Kira touched the dagger, she wouldn't know if it would give up its secrets. She'd have to touch it to determine if the dagger's magic stemmed from its composition, a powerful spell, or a spirit inhabiting the blade. A spirit-bound weapon wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but when it was bad, it was very bad indeed.

After taking a moment to steady herself, she slipped her fingers beneath the blade, wrapping them around the ivory and gold handle. For a moment she felt only the smooth, cool surface of the hilt...

Then a rushing sound filled her head and the warehouse walls shimmered to translucency, then disappeared altogether. Turquoise spilled across the pipes and suspended lighting fixtures of her ceiling, a vivid sky brightened by the heat of the searing sun. Hot sand replaced the floor and old Persian rug under her battered worktable — except there was no table, nor were there books, chairs, artifacts...Rocky, sandy hills stretched away in the distance before her, but to one side were trees and green fields, the glint of what could only be water. A gleaming white pyramid cut into the sky.

Pyramid?

Disorientation swept over Kira as she felt herself being lifted, carried...No, not her. It was not Kira being held and lifted, it was the dagger, but she was the dagger and it was being taken on a gilded tray along a promenade of sweeping stone columns. Stately movement, tinkling instruments, the murmur of voices. A processional of some sort, moving from bright heat to a cooler interior. They moved along a grand corridor, every surface brilliantly decorated with colorful images of Egyptian gods, hieroglyphs, flora and fauna.

Finally they stopped. Silence filled the grand audience hall and yet she could feel a thrum of excitement, of anticipation, coming from the dagger. At last the reason for its existence had come. Someone worthy had come.

Moving again, the tray was offered up. A pair of golden brown hands cradled her. Disappointment. Not the one.

She balanced on a pair of hands, heard a voice — deep, masculine, melodious — saying words she did not understand but sounded formal to her ears. As she was lowered, Kira saw the uraeus first — a rearing golden cobra with its hood flared — then the nemes, the striped head cloth even those who knew nothing about ancient Egypt associated with pharaohs. Beneath the royal regalia, kohl-lined dark eyes and a broad but angular nose were set in a bronze face with full lips and a strong chin. Sun glinted off a broad gold and jeweled collar worn over a gleaming white linen tunic.

Another voice spoke; Kira sensed it asked a question. The pharaoh replied in what sounded like the negative, then stepped forward.

She was being offered to someone. A man, darker skinned than the pharaoh, prostrated himself on the woven mat that protected the god-king's feet from the stone floor of what Kira thought must be a palace, no...a temple terrace. Light scars marred the dark satin of the man's broad, muscular back, scars — reminders of battles fought, not lashes given. Thick ropes of black hair covered his head and trailed across the mat.

This was the one.

The pharaoh spoke again and the dark-skinned warrior rose until he sat on his haunches with his arms lifted, palms raised upward. But he did not look directly at the living god. To do so was forbidden. Who could look upon the face of a god and survive?

The dagger shifted, passing from the pharaoh to the warrior's raised hands. The ruler spoke again, sounding pleased, then molded the warrior's fingers around the blade. For a moment the god-king's hands warmed the warrior's, together on the ivory hilt. The kneeling man pressed the flat of the blade to his lips, then touched his forehead to the stone again, speaking ceremonial words in a rich baritone that made Kira shiver.

Everything blurred, became dark...

Kira realized the dagger now dripped blood, as it was created to do. The acrid stench of something burning, something more than vegetation, filled her nostrils. Bodies littered the dusty ground, blood staining the dirt blackish red. She heard tears, screams, cries of pain. Above it all rose another sound, a darker tone, somehow more terrifying than the others. Laughter. The warrior laughed as he moved through the carnage; it was a cold laughter with an edge of madness to it. The blade swung in his fist, ringing like a clarion, thirsting for blood...

More images, more death, more blood. Not only in Egypt, not only in Africa. Not only four thousand years ago. Chariots, cavalry, arrows, guns, bombs, armored vehicles, grenades...many weapons, many places, many times.

The rushing sound returned to Kira's brain, separating her awareness from the dagger. She opened her eyes with a gasp, finding herself sprawled on her oriental carpet, the dagger inches from her outstretched hand. She scrambled away from it, away from the emotion and sensation that threatened to drag her back through the Veil.

"Ma'at protect me," she whispered, drawing a shaky hand across her lips. By the Light, the dagger really was four thousand years old, and possessed of so much magic that it was almost sentient.

That knowledge wasn't the cause of the sudden cold in the pit of her stomach.

The dagger's owner, the dark warrior with the baritone voice, was still...somehow...alive.

And looking for his blade.

Copyright © 2010 by Seressia Glass

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 33 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Kira's life is scarred by magic. Unable to touch others because

    Kira's life is scarred by magic. Unable to touch others because of her power she threw herself into education, both in history and in becoming a slayer of the creatures of the Shadow. Now as an adult she's a powerful Shadowchaser, the more fighty aspect of a secret organization dedicated to preserving the balance between Chaos and Light. As a follower of Ma'at, balance is very important to Kira.

    Then a friend brings a powerful—and evil—ancient blade to her for protection, and he ends up dead in an alley. His death exposes links Kira didn't even know they had, and makes her feel the loss even more keenly. Then a mysterious (sexy) Nubian warrior claiming to be the blade's owner appears and when Kira discovers he can touch her without suffering the death that most people do, it changes everything for her.

    Shadow Blade is a fantastic Egyptian-themed UF with a lead who's the strong, calm type. While Kira has a little snark, there's no jerkiness or bad attitude here, just a woman who cannot connect with humanity trying desperately to save it. It's a fun, enjoyably complex read. Definitely recommended for UF fans and public collections.
    Contains: sexual situations, violence, language

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    First reviewed for the Paperback Cafe. I wanted to pick up Shad

    First reviewed for the Paperback Cafe.

    I wanted to pick up Shadow Blade by Seressia Glass ever since I sat next to her table at a Georgia Romance Writers meeting and heard her say, "Well, I asked myself:  What would you do with an immortal warrior and a primal god in Atlanta? Why take them to The Vortex for chili-cheese fries of course!"

    I don't think she ever even realized I'd heard her but it definitely left an impression and I looked up her book.

    Here you have an Urban Fantasy following Kira Solomon, antique dealer by day, defender of all that is good at night. And hunky Nubian warrior, Khefer, who is trying to make up for all the lives he took in anger over four millennia ago.

    This was a great read. I put it under Appetizer because it definitely wet's the appetite for the rest of the series. Seressia brings together some great characters from a story telling spider god who happens to be a culinary master, a couple of ex-military tattoo artist witches, and a band with some fun hidden talents.

    I really loved the use of Egyptian mythology in this story. I don't know a lot about it and so its new and fresh for me. I love how she portrays the gods.

    If you enjoy Urban Fantasy, you like action and adventure peppered with humor, trust me and pick up the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    Praise Ma'at!

    Anansi getting sass from the two warriors cracks me up. Had fun with all the lore and mystery in this series.

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  • Posted April 30, 2013

    This is a great book with intriguing characters, great dialogue

    This is a great book with intriguing characters, great dialogue and an interesting world to explore.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2012

    Neat

    The ending was a little corny, but the story was still quite good. I'd recomend it to anyone liiking for something a bit off the beaten path.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2011

    OUTSTANDING BOOK!!!!!!!!

    LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 1/2 STARS

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    NEW FAVORITE AUTHOR

    Can't wait for more in the series. Seressia Glass has been added to my watch list of favorite authors. I hoghly recommend this book and any others you can find by her. She is a newer author from what I understand but watch out for her.

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  • Posted June 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fresh New Urban Fantasy

    Kira Solomon is a Shadowchaser. She knew even as a child that she was different. She could sense the truth about people by touching them, and could discover truth from inanimate objects as well. When she reached puberty, her power increased to the point where her touch became deadly to humans. That's when the Gilead Commission stepped in, took over guardianship and trained her to fight the beings steeped in Shadow.

    Kira is given a dagger of enormous power by her handler that he has come into possession of. He is killed once he gives her the dagger by the forces that have come to Earth to steal the dagger and its power. Kira is left with the dagger and the knowledge that an Avatar of one of the Fallen will stop at nothing to get the weapon so that he can take control of Earth.

    She is sidetracked when a new player enters the game. Not sure who he is or what he wants, Kira fights him also, but soon realises that he is the true owner of the dagger. This is Khefar, a Nubian warrior who has lived for four thousand years, cursed to remain alive until he has saved the same number of lives that he has taken over the years. His companion is a demigod who is Anasi, the Spider God.

    Khefar and Kira join forces to fight Enig, the Avatar who will kill anyone in his path. Will they be able to defeat this powerful force, or will he gain the dagger and capture Kira for the Shadow side?

    Seressia Glass has written an exciting entry into the urban fantasy genre. Her heroine is a strong but believable character, and she is careful not to let the love story between Kira and Khefar overwhelm the story . This book is recommended for urban fantasy and science fiction readers.

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  • Posted May 26, 2010

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    An Intense And Imaginative Dark Urban fantasy

    This book is an enjoyable, fast-paced urban fantasy. The plot is twisting and intense with an engaging but prickly protagonist and interesting supporting characters. The story utilizes an innovative blend of mythology and conjures a dark, menacing world where agents of the Light fight a clandestine war against agents of Shadow.

    The protagonist, Kira Solomon, is very edgy and angry at the world. Nonetheless, she's engaging and sympathetic. Her rage is understandable given her history and inability to touch any other human being. Kira is a Shadowchaser, an elite warrior of the Gilead Commission, dedicated to eliminating the upper echelons of Shadow which includes the powerful Fallen and the human Shadow Avatars they inhabit.

    Kira patrols a very gritty and dangerous urban Atlanta looking for Shadow agents utilizing the dark power of chaos and/or otherwise causing harm to humans. Although she's been appointed by the Gilead Commission, she eschews authority and acts autonomously backed up by a biker-like male witch and his metal working, pig-tailed wife who has advanced sniper skills.

    The plot begins when Bernie Comstock, an antiquities dealer and Kira's mentor, comes to Atlanta to have her authenticate a 4000 year old Egyptian dagger. Kira is gifted with psychometry. She's able to read the history of anything she touches. But, that gift carries a curse which prevents her from having bare skinned contact with another human being. Kira's particular magic is so strong that she, with help from Gilead, has honed it into a weapon primarily channelled through her hands and Light Blade.

    After Bernie entrusts the Egyptian dagger to Kira, he's killed by a Seeker Demon. When Kira finds his body she immediately realizes that a Shadow Avatar, infused with the spirit of one of the Fallen, is involved. She vows to take down the demon and Avatar who conjured it. Meanwhile a semi-immortal Nubian warrior, (who received the ancient dagger from an Egyptian Pharaoh 4000 years ago), is watching Kira and approaches her to recover his blade. Eventually, they join forces to defeat the Shadow Avatar, but Kira cannot fully accept the partnership and is lured into a trap which results in her corruption by the essence of Shadow.

    The story is riveting with twists and turns. It culminates in a clever and eventful climax. Further, the supporting characters are quirky and well-described. They include the semi-immortal Nubian warrior named Khefar and his West African sidekick called Nansee, (a/k/a Ananse, the West African spider god). Moreover, the book's mythology imaginatively mixes a good versus evil creationist mythos with ancient Egyptian worship.

    This book is an excellent first addition to this new fantasy series. I heartily recommend it to anyone who enjoys dark urban fantasy and/or supernatural action fantasy.

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  • Posted March 10, 2010

    Courtesy of Flamingnet.com Teen Book Reviews

    Kira Solomon, is a shadow chaser. Bernie is like a father
    to her. Bernie has one of the most powerful daggers in the
    world. That dagger is the "Dagger of Khefetrum." Enig a
    Shadow Avatar sends out one of his demons to get the
    ancient dagger. Kira meets Khefar a 4,000 year old
    immortal. Khefar is the real owner of the ancient dagger.
    While Kira is on her way home from her meeting with Khefar
    she discovers a demon that she has a problem with. She
    gets out her lightblade, but not fast enough. In and
    instant, she and her motorcycle are flipped over on to the
    ground. With her crashed motorcycle on the ground, Kira
    gets up and reaches for her lightblade, but someone gets
    to it before her...Khefar. Before Kira can get back to her
    feet Khefar is fighting the demon destroying it. In the
    middle of the fight, Khefar is bitten by the ferocious
    animal. The bite will probably lead to death. Khefar dies
    that night, but it turns out ht Khefar has an after life,
    so that means that he wakes up the next morning. In order
    to keep the "Dagger of Khefetrum" safe they must destroy
    Enig. By doing that they are going to make a replica of
    the ancient dagger and try to trick Enig into thinking it
    is the real one. Will they be able to destroy Enig and
    keep the dagger safe, or will Enig destroy them first and
    get the dagger?

    I thought this book was very well
    written. It always kept me wanting to see what would
    happen next. Once I picked it up and started reading it, I
    couldn't stop!! It was by far one of the best books I have
    ever read!

    Note to parents:It had a few cuss words every now and
    then.

    Reviewed by a young adult student reviewer
    Flamingnet Book Reviews
    Teen books reviewed by teen reviewers

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2010

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    Shadow Blade

    SHADOW BLADE is an intense and riveting urban fantasy that pits Kira Solomon (the Shadow Chaser) against evil that want an ancient dagger that belongs to Khefar, a 4000 year-old immortal warrior and quite good looking at that. Could there be some romance mixed in while fighting to the death. Seressia Glass' novel is expressive and genuine and Kira is one tough heroine. Got to love her.

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  • Posted February 5, 2010

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    Fantastic Start to a New Urban Fantasy Series!

    Kira Solomon works for the Gilead Commission (an ancient global organization that governs and upholds the balance between Light [angels, gods, goddesses, spirits, guardians] and Shadow [the Fallen= spawns of Chaos] in the universe) as a shadowchaser; someone of light who is trained to and uses their "extrasense" abilities to track and eradicate Shadow. Kira has the ability of the "touch"; she can see/experience the history of any person/being/object she touches. However, in the accordance with the universes principles of balance, her gift has the adverse effect of siphoning the life-force and destroying any being she makes a physical contact with.

    By day Kira is a freelance antiquity expert but at night, she transforms into a shadowchaser with death-dealing tendencies. The story starts off with Kira's mentor Bernie Comstock, requesting she authenticate an Egyptian blade he speculates to be over four millennia. Unfortunately for Kira and Bernie, their find attracts the owner of the blade, Khefar, an ancient Nubian warrior who served in Pharoah's army. Khefar has been on the warpath searching high and low for his blade. But even worse, the power of the blade attracts the Avatar for a powerful fallen who wishes to possess the blade's chaotic energy of creation and unmaking. Despite Kira's many strengths, her fight with the avatar takes a dismal turn when she becomes poisoned with shadow. The infection threatens to alter the mostly light essence running through her veins and replace it with the destructive alien energy of chaos. Time is running out for Kira, and the terms failure and retreat are not in her vocabulary. Looking for an alternative, the old saying, the enemy of my enemy is my friend is Kira's only option when she is forced to team-up with the warrior, in order to try and defeat the avatar.

    This book's idea of other dimensions of time and reality existing outside of earth and of the concept of the universal balance fascinates me. That a war took place outside of earth's reality and in the aftermath powerful otherworldly-beings, are trapped here on earth. And thus, have become incapable of manifesting in the flesh, and are forced to fuse their essence with humans and form avatars.

    I was completely entertained and intrigued from my first plunge into this book until the very end. The story appealed to and satisfied my appetite for novels that are creatively authentic and dark. The background shadow creatures as such, had a menacing and eerie vibe to them; like they stalked and lurked around every corner. Kira is a kick-butt heroine and a deadly force to be reckoned with. She is powerful in her own right and always gets the job done.

    For those wondering what genre this book falls into, I would categorize it as an urban fantasy with a smidge of romance. I savored this story and loved the fact that it was different from the commonly used European culture of fantasy but instead went against the grain and focused on African and Egyptian cultures. Don't get me wrong, I love the widely used European version of fantasy and myths but I also like variety.

    This book was one of my highly anticipated January 2010 releases and I'm pleased to say I've added this series to my favorites list. I highly recommend this book to fellow dark urban fantasy readers, and look forward to the next book Shadow Chase due out 7/27/2010.

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  • Posted December 20, 2009

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    the first Shadowchasers urban fantasy is a terrific tale

    Kira Solomon's cover is an antiquities expert. However, although she is a guru on ancient artifacts, the Gilead Commission found her as an Atlanta tweener with incredible psychometric skills. They trained her to fight the Fallen Shadows who cause havoc and disenchantment. Now thirteen years since they found her, Kira prefers to focus on her antiquities work.

    Once her teacher and mentor, Bernie Comstock arrives with a four millennia old Egyptian blade that he needs her special touch to authenticate its age. Kira does just that and knows instantly that the blade belongs to an immortal Fallen Nubian warrior who searches for it throughout Atlanta. When a demon kills Bernie, Kira confronts Khefar the immortal, who looks her age rather than someone four thousand years old. Surprising herself, she agrees to team up with Khefar as evil Shadows want the blade that call out to both of them as much as their attraction does.

    Filled with great spins, the first Shadowchasers urban fantasy is a terrific tale due to the heroine. Her current case is personal in several ways, but also could lead her into the Shadows of darkness. Atlanta proves a great landscape for a battle between shadow and shadow-hunters, but it is the teaming of Kira and Khefar as she learns there are plenty of shades of gray between light and dark.

    Harriet Klausner

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