Legends of the Serai
By J.C. Hall
Dragon Moon Press
Trade Paperback, 327 pages, 20.95
If you like books which combine fine writing, elaborate myth, and fantasy and magic, then you will deeply enjoy Legends of the Serai.
In a world ruled by the powerful legend of three mysterious stones, young and beautiful Cara’sen, descendant of a goddess and Lead-Officer in the Overseer’s Special Guild, is out on a special quest in order to save her precious Western Lands from destruction. The young protagonist’s struggle is internal as it is external, for she is torn apart by her love and desire for two very different men—her faithful spar Jai and the dark and alluring Karvel’len. At the heart of the mystery of the three strange opals is not only Karvel’len but also her long lost brother. There’s only one problem: instead of uniting forces as they should be doing, the two men hate each other and would like nothing more than to see each other dead. To add to this, Cara’sen is haunted by the whereabouts of her father, who she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl. Keeping this in mind, Cara’sen is a middle point surrounded by four males figures which affect and influence her life on various levels.
The story begins with a fascinating prologue which explains the hierarchy of the goddesses and how the legend began. Keeping a tightly controlled pace, talented author J.C. Hall weaves a believable and realistic imaginary world filled with passion and adventure. Her prose flows beautifully and the dialogue sparkles with authenticity, drawing the reader into the carefully plotted story. Heavier in characterization and more stylishly written than most commercial fantasy novels, this is a book to savor slowly and certainly not one to be swallowed overnight. J.C. Hall is a fine storyteller and her skill and love for her story and characters really shine through the pages.