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Book One in the Spirit Shinto trilogy by Award Winning New Zealand author, Dale Elvy.
"In a world where the forces of nature - earth, air, water and fire - can manifest as powerful and destructive Shintos. mortal men are at the mercy of Mages who control and summon these superhuman forces. Some use their powers for good, while others are driven by evil ambition..."
Meet Tane, First Hunter of the Gerhan tribe, a mountain-dwelling peaceful people who live a simple tribal life in the rugged mountains and foothills of the island of Maragon. The elders speak with the spirits, and the people spend their days enjoying life, hunting, and living a life in harmony with the world around them.
Introducing Sajha, daughter of a powerful Shinto Mage to the House Yakoso, one of the powerful Houses that rule on the Mainland. Sajha is a trainee Shinto Mage herself, but is the bearer of an inner power that gives her a strength she barely understands. Fleeing a life of privileged slavery as a second-class citizen within House Yakoso, she boards a trader ship to Maragon, seeking a new life, free of the burdens of a Shinto Mage.
Lurking in the shadows is Larman-Dol, powerful Shinto Mage to House Jintao, under the iron fist of Lord Kuso, a blood thirsty power hungry dictator bent on world domination. Larman-Dol also has a servant, Zarnus, a powerful blend of Earth Shinto and Human, an abomination and a frightful tool, unstoppable, impervious to all weapons, and slave to Larman-Dol's wishes.
Exactly how all these characters interact, and eventually come to conflict, is a well written tale, woven by a future master of the fantasy genre, Dale Elvy. Dale is a Kiwi, who lives in Wellington, and has crafted an excellent first entry into the field. First Hunter is book one of the Spirit Shinto trilogy, and was released in August this year. With distinctive cover-art, you should be able to find this book under E in any good bookstore's Fantasy section.
By no means a fantasy reader by preference, I was pleasantly surprised by this good read. It is great to see such talent popping up from the local scene, and this could be the beginnings of an international career for Dale. I look forward to seeing his second book, The Spirit City, and am anticipating a great story, if the ending of First Hunter is anything to go by. This book has the rare gift of being able to take it's time explaining the background without losing the overall rapid pace of the story, meaning that by the end of the book, you know the world in which the characters live. It was also great to see more about Dale on his website, which was a little difficult to locate at www.daleelvy.com. Keep up the great work Dale.
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Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)