In Passing

From the Archives:
When mirror twins Seth and Hadrian Castillo travel to Europe on holidays, they don’t expect the end of the world to follow them. Seth’s murder, however, puts exactly that into motion. From opposite sides of death, the Castillo twins grapple with a reality neither of them suspected, although it has been encoded in myths and legends for millennia. The Earth we know is just one of many ‘realms’, three of which are inhabited by humans during various stages of their lives. And their afterlives. In the tradition of Philip Pullman and Ursula K. Le Guin and inspired by numerous arcane sources, the “Books of the Cataclysm” begin in the present world but soon propel the reader to a landscape that is simultaneously familiar and fantastic.
The Crooked Letter by Sean Williams is a prequel to The Books of the Change trilogy and sets out to explain how the world of the previous trilogy came to be.
As a huge fan of the previous trilogy, I was really looking forward to this book, but I was disappointed. While the ideas are great and it does answer some questions, I found it rather confusing and lacking the same vibrancy of the earlier series.
The best part of the book was the last quarter. Nevertheless, fans of the previous trilogy should enjoy this book and the tale of how magic returns to the world.


The second book in a fabulous trilogy of power and violence, love and hatred, slavery and the call to freedom.

Shana is sent to the marble mines of Ashua. She is the top gladiator in Vechwer but has angered too many influential people. Eventually escaping, she raises an army against those who feed her people to the dragons. Sukaal Veskesh, an Ashuak provincial governor and military leader who is trying to bring reform to relations between the Jaru and the Ashuak, is nearly defeated by Shana’s band.

Sukaal’s moderate stance is obliterated when he is posted elsewhere, and his replacement institutes the cruel and violent rule that had been in place before Sukaal came…crucifixion is a new and even harsher punishment for the Jaru people.

And the dragon priests of Ashua are looking after their own interests…they believe Alwyn is the key to finding the Genesis Stone, the stone the priests have promised to recover from the Alfwyn for the dragons. And time is running out for them all…

Passion (The Ashuak Chronicles #2) by Tony Shillitoe, picks up where Blood left off. The author throws the reader back into the crumbling world of the Ashuak Empire. The story continues to chart a course through blood thirsty imperial politics, as Sukaal Vekesk faces hidden enemies to his moderate reign as military governor of Sekesu.

Without a doubt, this second novel in the trilogy is just as exciting as the first. Shana, the legendary Jaru gladiator, though enslaved, continues her plans to avenge her brother’s murder. Alwyn, the teacher, learns more of the Dragon Priest’s magic than the Dragon Priests know themselves. And all the while, the wheels set in motion by the Great Dragons to find the Genesis Stone and their ancient enemies the Alfwyn, continue to turn towards a brutal climax. I love this series!


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