In this first volume of the Esereth Chronicles, one woman is mysteriously transported through a portal in space and time to a strange planet whose fate is closely tied to her own.
Sara has returned to her grandmother’s home in the tiny German village of Wald to recuperate after the death of her mother. Twenty years have passed since her father left the family when she was 8 years old. With the exception of her grandmother, Sara now feels quite alone in the world. Except she’s not. Shortly after a young girl hands her an ancient, locked book in a marketplace, strange men try to kidnap her. She escapes, but the book essentially kidnaps her itself and transports her to another planet. Esereth is Earth’s twin universe, where one year passes for each of Earth’s 10 and where the culture is more medieval human than alien. It’s possible for some to occasionally pass between the two worlds, including Sara—and, it turns out, her long-missing father. But one man wants to sever ties between the two planets forever so that Esereth will remain peaceful and separate from its counterpart. To do so, he means to destroy Sara’s book—along with Sara herself. Debut author Meyer-Allyn does some wonderful worldbuilding, but Sara remains a rather bland heroine. She inevitably falls into a love triangle with two nearly identical men dueling for her affections. But it’s too hard to distinguish between the two brawny, sensitive warriors to care much about this subplot. The secondary characters—the wise, mysterious old healer Hecate and the brave young Balu—are far more fascinating than this trio. Fortunately, the cultural and historical details, not to mention the intense action sequences that Meyer-Allyn infuses into the story, add color that will distract readers from Sara’s shortcomings.
An intriguing first installment of a new science-fiction saga.