Review of Night of the Immortals, a fantasy by Mary-Jean Harris
ZACHARIAS SWANWICK, twenty-one years old and living in 19th century Bristol, England, has discovered a young man named Wyndor from another world. In this world of Erala, starlit beings called Velans dwell. Drawn to the mystery, Zacharias decides to help Wyndor find a Velan object that can return him to Erala and which is currently within a manor owned by a man named Jeremy Lipking. Without this object, Wyndor is slowly dying.
This object belongs to a group of Chinese spiritual adepts called the Lung Hsieh. Four members have come to Bristol from China to retrieve it and discover how someone could have stolen it when it was so heavily guarded. The presence of this object in the city has drawn Dragon Kings, misty spirits following the Lung Hsieh, to sweep through Bristol. Although they are invisible, they emanate a chilling presence in their wake and have been gaining strength. Jeremy Lipking’s daughter, Arianna, finds herself drawn to one of the members of the Lung Hsieh and pledges herself to help find the object before it is too late.
Throughout his adventures with Wyndor, Zacharias learns more about the powers inherent in other worlds and dreams, and he comes to make a decision that will change his life forever.
I’m glad this book came at a time when the weather was open-windows nice and I had some free time. Because once I got out on my deck swing and started reading, I sat there for stretches at a time before I finally forced myself away and back inside to do some work. I enjoyed this quite a bit, and I found the entire premise so fascinating. The magic is so neat. I’m not sure if I fully understand how it works, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the book.
I loved the melding of cultures. There are perspectives from both English and Chinese characters, and it all felt so realistic. The exploration of culture and the fantasy implications of belief came together in a fast-paced story of life, love, and mysticism (especially from the otherworldly being and his home planet). The ending brought everything together while leaving a few loose threads that I’d love to see a sequel for. As always, no spoilers.
So, I guess all I can say is go read this. It’s expertly crafted, beautifully written, and has an interesting magic system. As I said, I wasn’t clear on a couple of the finer details of the magic, but if that is something you don’t mind, I urge you to give this book a try.
About Mary-Jean Harris
Mary-Jean Harris writes historical and other-world fantasy stories. She is the owner of a character entertainment company in Ottawa, Ontario and has a Masters degree in theoretical physics. Mary-Jean has published various short stories in anthologies and online such as the Tesseracts anthologies, Polar Expressions, SciPhi Journal, and Allegory Ezine. Her novel Night of the Immortals was inspired by Chinese philosophy and a trip to Bristol, UK. Mary-Jean is also the author of the series The Soul Wanderers.
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