Lands ravaged. Dreams destroyed. Demons set loose upon the earth.
Sisters in magic, Eolyn and Adiana seek to revive a millennial tradition once forbidden to women. When war strikes, their fledgling community of magas is destroyed; its members killed, captured or scattered.
Determined to defend her people, Eolyn seeks to escape the occupied province and deliver to King Akmael a weapon that might secure their victory. Trapped by the invading army, Adiana is taken prisoner and placed at the mercy of the ruthless Prince Mechnes.
Even as their world is torn asunder, Eolyn and Adiana cling to a common dream. Courage and perseverance guide them toward a future where women's magic will flourish in a world set free from war. But to achieve that dream, both must first offer the greatest sacrifice.
"War propels the story forward, and the characters are at their best when circumstances are at their worst." -Publishers Weekly
SWORD OF SHADOWS was first published in 2014 by Hadley Rille Books,under the title HIGH MAGA.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sword of Shadows reaches into the depths of the all-consuming, unrelenting , vicious nature of nationalist imperialism. The reader sees how individuals become less than pawns in the path of such a psychopathic endeavor. Women are, as in Eolyn, used as disposable tools to an end, but this time as fodder for the dreaded Naether Demons, which can be seen as supernatural cryptid representations of the machinations of men and women who eschew any sense of compassion or moral obligation to others. For those who would normalize war, the enslavement of women as sexual toys or their sacrifice for the favor of powers to aid in conquest; there ceases to be room for the individual, for other ways of being or for common decency. Yet it is the desire to keep such things which gives Eolyn strength to fight the force that would destroy her and all she loves. It is also that desire that brings her closer to her true love and that in turn empowers her even beyond her magical attachment to nature, or perhaps it can be said to be an extension of nature. There is much interplay of forces and in that way, Sword of Shadows mimics the laws of the universe and of human relations. There is always some chaos, and always some attempt to make sense of it.
“Because every heart must have a thread of steel Because the roots of power are found in love” Charged with themes of passion, treachery, and unshakable fear, Sword of Shadows propels us again into the kingdom of Moisehén, and into the heart of our heroine, Eolyn. Author Karin Gastreich hones the technique of her first installment into a masterful work of prose, providing us with a truly breathtaking world and unforgettable characters. Eolyn and Adiana thrive in their small community of emerging young magas, teaching and practicing magic in an effort to revive the women’s tradition. But when disaster strikes and the kingdom is plunged yet again into war, Eolyn and her charges are separated. With danger lurking around every corner, time running out, and deeply sinister forces at play, Eolyn must hurry to combine forces with King Akmael to save their kingdom. Adiana must find the courage within herself to remain strong in the face of hopelessness. Both, in the end, must make the ultimate sacrifice. With loyalties questioned and allies discovered in the most unexpected places, the distinctions between good and evil are never as clear as they seem. Gastreich’s world is filled with imperfect heroes and charming villains, all forced to navigate a world in which the rules of wartime have changed the game. And as war rages and terror abounds, one question is raised time and time again: how much pain can the bonds of love withstand? Megan Mauro Apex Reviews