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Title:  Witch Ember

Author:  John Lawson

Publisher:  America House

Reviewer: Jeff Edwards Ė AAA Member

Witch Ember is a dark and lusty saga of a strange world, shrouded in even stranger magic.

According to myth, in the days before humans were created, Trickster Man crept into the Circle of Wejwej and stole one of the Stones of Power. To conceal his crime, Trickster Man ground the stone into powder and baked it into a loaf of bread, which he fed to First Ancestor. But in his haste, Trickster Man didnít grind the stone carefully enough. There were flecks of stone grit in the flour, and even a few pebbles.

Later, when Wejwej cut First Ancestor into many pieces to fashion the first people, those traces of the missing stone found their way into every member of the newly-formed race of man. So it was that each human came to have a fragment of the Stone of Power within his or her body. Most carry only a speck, perhaps the size of a grain of sand, and that small granule gives them the power to do lesser magic. But some people carry larger grains, and a few are blessed (or cursed) with pebbles of the Great Stone. These few can do more powerful magic. If they are men, they become the great shamans, and they are revered. If they are women, they are branded as witches, and they are hunted by the Inquisition  to be tortured and killed.

Esmeree is a street urchin. She wanders the squalid alleys of Cliffs Reach, scrabbling for existence in a world where the life of an underprivileged child is worth less than nothing. But as her body grows into womanhood, the power within her is magnified to unprecedented levels. Because the fragment that burns in her breast is no mere grain of sand. Itís a major piece of the Stone of Power, perhaps the largest fragment ever carried by a human being. Itís a witch ember of incredible strength. When it begins to speak to her, Esmeree knows that she is on the brink of unimagined power. If she can learn to control it. If she can surviveÖ

Not for the faint of heart. Witch Ember is the stuff of high adventure. John Lawson spins an intricate tale of disturbing brutality, exotic sensuality, and dark magic. The cultures of his Seven Kingdoms are richly detailed, and utterly fascinating.

This book certainly isnít for everyone. The sexual undertones, graphic violence, and strongly pagan themes will likely be too much for many readers. But if youíre ready for breakneck adventure with an exotic flavor, prepare to enter the mysterious world of Witch Ember.

Winner of the 2008 American Authors Association's Golden Quill Award!

 


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