Triplet sisters fulfill an ancient prophecy by enduring a harrowing journey to reclaim a sacred book in this fantasy debut, the first installment of a proposed series.
Expectant mother Taniyah, fleeing the Shadow Riders and the monstrous, flying Great Leeleth, serendipitously passes from the Realm of TuNerahland into the Present Realm. There, she gives birth to three girls: Arniyah, Shiyloh, and Hadarah. They are the three, named in a prophecy, who will recover the lost Book of the Sacred Seven and return it to its creator. Within the volume are seven seals that, if opened, will ultimately result in humankind’s doom. The sisters’ arrival, however, awakens enemies, most notably the Lord of Darkness, Taznuth, a three-headed sea dragon. The Gatekeeper allows Aristobolus, who raised Taniyah since discovering her as an abandoned 3-year-old, and his sisters to pass through the gateway and bring the triplets back to the Realm of TuNerahland. The girls train as Zamariy (warriors) until the day they leave to fulfill their destiny. They first travel to the Temple of Eraum to meet Agabus, a Foreshadower, who has sacred scrolls, written by L’Avior, the Lord of Light, which should hopefully lead to the book. Along the way is a bevy of evil creatures, from winged Sheolites to flesh-eating horses known as Basararks. Delaney’s clever tale instills a refreshingly understated religious theme into the plot. Though the metaphors are unadorned (good and evil godlike beings, sacred scripts, etc.), they don’t dominate the narrative, which primarily focuses on the three Bearers facing a sundry of monsters that have banded together. Other factors in play are the villains’ want of the Aristobolus-gifted Sacred Scepter (part of a key to control the gateway) and a possible rift between the sisters, as Hadarah keeps secret the powerful Sacred Stone. The author, rather unusually, tends to avoid physical descriptions of human characters, like allies Orek and Zayden. Conversely, she paints Taznuth’s servants in vibrant colors, making them stand out more than the good guys: the Haragii, for example, are people that, believing they’re skinless, drape themselves in rotting, maggoty flesh. An accompanying glossary helps keep track of the novel’s countless characters and sacred items.
An arduous quest brimming with villainous beasts in an already epic opening volume.