The richly imagined story of a modern woman bearing ancient responsibilities.

READ REVIEW

WRITTEN IN RUBERAH

AGE OF JEWELED INTELLIGENCE

The conflicts of an ancient mystical kingdom erupt in the modern world.

At the beginning of the latest novel from Greenaway (Dream Chaser, 2009), cataclysm is engulfing the ancient magic city of Az’Rayelle in the kingdom of Ruberah, but its headstrong princess, High Priestess Li’ram, can think only of her love for Da’krah, prince of the Emerald Kingdom—and of the power they both sought to exercise over the magic forces that guard their realm against the Dark Master, ruler of the underworld. Li’ram hates herself for her irresponsibility and exacts a promise from the sacred River Spirit that one day, far in the future, her soul be given a chance to redeem itself. When the book’s action shifts forward thousands of years, we find another headstrong young woman, 15-year-old Princess Tamara, rebelling against her duty. When she defies her people’s customs in order to befriend two giants, her father sentences her to a most unusual punishment: “You will be a river,” her father says, “A river made of your own tears, and you will fill this divide for all time to be.” But since Greenaway’s narrative tells us the “history of everything that has ever happened on Earth resides in the Cycles of Time,” it’s no surprise that the story jumps forward another few thousand years to the present day, in which young American lovers Mitch Devere and Miriam Lewis are driving to an inn in Cornwall when Miriam has a mystical vision. An ethereal Tamara, who is watching the couple, senses Miriam has the aura of Ruberah. Tamara has sworn not to use her sorcery to directly change the actions of others—their destinies are their own to set—so she can only watch and meddle while Miriam becomes a focal point not only for the resurgent memories of long-lost Ruberah, but also for the reawakening desire of the Dark Master to gain control of Ruberah’s ancient powers and rule the world. Although they are deeply entangled in these ancient dramas, Miriam and Mitch (who’s carrying the spirit of Da’krah, though he doesn't know it) are also the focus of a sorcery-fueled romantic-triangle plot of their own, which is energetically handled. Greenaway juggles the many strands of her lushly descriptive book with ease, managing to bring all of these characters, from all their separate time periods, together in a rousing climax that invests just as much energy in high fantasy as modern romance, with winning results.

The richly imagined story of a modern woman bearing ancient responsibilities.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0615949871

Page Count: 376

Publisher: girl by the sea

Review Posted Online: Jan. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

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A short, simple, and sweet tale about two friends and a horse.

Mary's Song

From the Dream Horse Adventure Series series , Vol. 1

A novel tells the story of two spirited girls who set out to save a lame foal in 1952.

Mary, age 12, lacks muscle control of her legs and must use a wheelchair. Her life is constantly interrupted by trips with her widower father to assorted doctors, all of whom have failed to help her. Mary tolerates the treatments, hoping to one day walk unassisted, but her true passion involves horses. Possessing a library filled with horse books, she loves watching and drawing the animals at a neighboring farm. She longs to own one herself. But her father, overprotective due to her disability and his own lingering grief over Mary’s dead mother, makes her keep her distance. Mary befriends Laura, the emotionally neglected daughter of the wealthy neighboring farm owners, and the two share secret buggy rides. Both girls are attracted to Illusion, a beautiful red bay filly on the farm. Mary learns that Illusion is to be put down by a veterinarian because of a lame leg. Horrified, she decides to talk to the barn manager about the horse (“Isn’t it okay for her to live even if she’s not perfect? I think she deserves a chance”). Soon, Mary and Laura attempt to raise money to save Illusion. At the same time, Mary begins to gain control of her legs thanks to water therapy and secret therapeutic riding with Laura. There is indeed a great deal of poignancy in a story of a girl with a disability fighting to defend the intrinsic value of a lame animal. But this book, the first installment of the Dream Horse Adventure Series, would be twice as touching if Mary interacted with Illusion more. In the tale’s opening, she watches the foal from afar, but she actually spends very little time with the filly she tries so hard to protect. This turns out to be a strange development given the degree to which the narrative relies on her devotion. Count (Selah’s Sweet Dream, 2015) draws Mary and Laura in broad but believable strokes, defined mainly by their unrelenting pluckiness in the face of adversity. While the work tackles disability, death, and grief, Mary’s and Laura’s environments are so idyllic and their optimism and perseverance so remarkable that the story retains an aura of uncomplicated gentleness throughout.

A short, simple, and sweet tale about two friends and a horse.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Hastings Creations Group

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2016

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A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.

SHOW TRIALS

HOW PROPERTY GETS MORE LEGAL PROTECTION THAN PEOPLE IN OUR FAILED IMMIGRATION SYSTEM

A highly organized, informative discussion of the immigration system in the United States.

In this politically charged environment, Afrasiabi manages to broach the volatile issue of immigration in a well-rounded, surprisingly effective framework that combines case studies, historical research, statistical analysis and personal anecdotes to detail the current issues and propose solutions. Invocations of Kafka, “The Twilight Zone” and “Alice in Wonderland” prove warranted as illustrations of the often surreal circumstances that confront immigrants facing deportation. Immigrants usually lack access to quality legal representation, while their situation can be made doubly difficult due to language barriers and significant cultural differences. Afrasiabi incorporates his work with colleagues and students at the Chapman University School of Law to deftly weave together the facts of several compelling cases and their underlying legal issues, with a genuine sense of suspense as readers wonder if justice will be truly be served. Occasionally, though, the narrative becomes overwrought—two federal laws passed in 1996 are “dark storm clouds depositing their sleet”—although, considering the life-changing effects of court decisions, it’s difficult to overstate the ramifications: extralegal rendition of individuals with pending cases and the de facto deportation of native-born children whose parents are deported. Afrasiabi also addresses the legacy of various anti-alien laws in California, as well as marriage equality for same-sex couples when one partner is a noncitizen. As the subtitle asserts, Afrasiabi employs his additional experience in the field of property law to contrast the stark differences between immigration judges and constitutional judges, like their qualifications, vetting processes and even the oaths they take. His arguments culminate in seven concrete reforms proposed in the conclusion. In order to make the immigration system more just and effective, Afrasiabi claims the solutions are closer than we may think; we can implement procedures and safeguards already in place within the constitutional courts.

A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 249

Publisher: Kurti Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

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