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Cleansed

From the The True Tree Chronicles series , Vol. 1

This vivid and gripping supernatural tale about a daring fighter grows more somber and complex as it builds.

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A fantasy novel focuses on a young warrior caught up in an epic clash of bloodthirsty ancient gods.

The latest book from Scott (Sorrow’s Heart, 2016), the first in a projected series, begins in the cramped, squalid, violent slum called the Slaag in the city of Tuilar in a land ruled by and terrorized by the Lord of Chaos and his mortal minions. This dark god visits localized chaos-storms at random on the ordinary people of this world. They have to contend not only with the tempests, but also with grunkins, the fearsome creatures who spawn in the storms’ aftermath. These high-fantasy dangers are distant from the desperate, hand-to-mouth existence of young Dirge and his mother, who are trying to eke out a living in the Slaag. But when Dirge finds his mother dead in an alley one night, his childhood abruptly ends (after that, readers are told: “He didn’t laugh. He didn’t cry. He simply didn’t care anymore”). A kindly tavern owner named Katlyn takes him in, and he comes under the tutelage of one of her bouncers, Talic Sern, who soon reveals himself to be far more than mere hired muscle. He’s a member of the Brotherhood of Assassins, which serves the death god Aza’zel by carrying out divinely sanctioned murder contracts. With Talic’s help, Dirge grows into a young man skilled in the ways of combat, but despite the bonds of friendship between his teachers and himself, he feels ill at ease. Increasingly, he becomes drawn to the service of another supernatural being, the old, forgotten god Ukase. When Dirge breaks with the Brotherhood and strikes out on his own, Scott effectively broadens the previously narrow setting of his story as he follows his up-from-nothing main character into various military adventures in a world being torn apart by warring deities. On this new path, the novel’s dynamic hero faces difficult choices, including whether to lead Ukase’s warriors (“His whole life, Dirge had only dreamt of being a part of something.…It was why leaving the Brotherhood was so torturous. He’d never thought—never wanted—to lead anyone”). Fans of John Marco and R. Scott Bakker should gladly welcome a first-rate author to their ranks—and should be happy to see the words “to be continued” at the close of this book.

This vivid and gripping supernatural tale about a daring fighter grows more somber and complex as it builds.

Pub Date: July 18, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-692-67812-1

Page Count: 360

Publisher: Blue Deco Publishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 8, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2016

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MAGIC HOUR

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Sisters work together to solve a child-abandonment case.

Ellie and Julia Cates have never been close. Julia is shy and brainy; Ellie gets by on charm and looks. Their differences must be tossed aside when a traumatized young girl wanders in from the forest into their hometown in Washington. The sisters’ professional skills are put to the test. Julia is a world-renowned child psychologist who has lost her edge. She is reeling from a case that went publicly sour. Though she was cleared of all wrongdoing, Julia’s name was tarnished, forcing her to shutter her Beverly Hills practice. Ellie Barton is the local police chief in Rain Valley, who’s never faced a tougher case. This is her chance to prove she is more than just a fading homecoming queen, but a scarcity of clues and a reluctant victim make locating the girl’s parents nearly impossible. Ellie places an SOS call to her sister; she needs an expert to rehabilitate this wild-child who has been living outside of civilization for years. Confronted with her professional demons, Julia once again has the opportunity to display her talents and salvage her reputation. Hannah (The Things We Do for Love, 2004, etc.) is at her best when writing from the girl’s perspective. The feral wolf-child keeps the reader interested long after the other, transparent characters have grown tiresome. Hannah’s torturously over-written romance passages are stale, but there are surprises in store as the sisters set about unearthing Alice’s past and creating a home for her.

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-345-46752-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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