Friday, May 3, 2013

Review:Legend of the Chosen by Jennifer Selzer & Daniel Huber

Legend of the Chosen by Jennifer Selzer & Daniel Huber

When I saw the covers on these I almost passed them up. Between the title and the cover for some reason I had the impression this was another christian remake of the bible. Not that I don't appreciate those- they just are not tops on my list.

When I realized it was the beginning of a new Mage/Science-Fiction series I picked it up. I'm mostly acquainted with Debra Doyle and James D. MacDonald in the realm of MageWorld. I enjoyed those though they often seemed more into romance so maybe Mage-Romance.

I don't mind the blend of science and magic. I really enjoyed this fantastic universe of Magic and technology.

This series seems to want to throw in some sort of myth that blends into a god created universe, which of course can never be told without the great dark evil. This dark evil seems to be more like a wild voracious energy being that feeds upon the living energy of other creatures. It also seems to be able to feed on most everything else, but apparently feeding on souls seems to be it's highest sustenance.

So we never really get to know why god created the great dark evil in the beginning but he did and there are four of them that seem to roam the universe.

There are legends, which are prophecy in this universe, that there are three chosen who can defeat this evil.

In this universe through some -perhaps other creation of god- there are black holes (I may have this confused) that have been tweaked to make nexus points which give access to the leylines that connect the universe.

Our hero, Quade, is about to discover that there have been strange things happening near the nexus points.

Ships are mysteriously abandoned and whole nexus have been destroyed. Quade experiences a first hand encounter with this dark cloud-like entity; the experience seems similar to someone having a really bad migraine. He can see the creature because he's the chosen seer and he's the only one who can see this. Though his purpose is to report the finding of new leylines and nexus points, which are discovered by the Venrey, he is reluctant to report all of what he's heard and seen; to the Keystone of Bethel. Although the Keystone is like a father to him and is his employer, Quade has a problem with two imaginary voices in his head (which have now manifest as two fairy like beings, Mimic and Echo, calling themselves emissaries of god) that have tried to caution him about revealing too much of this to anyone. The dark entity can enter into anyone and remove all of their knowledge and telling other people will put them all in danger. Only the chosen are immune to this invasion, although the chosen can be easily killed by the creature anyway.

As it turns out everyone is in danger anyway. The Keystone will soon be compromised and our reluctant hero will have to find the three chosen to save the Keystone's soul. These chosen may be people close to him. Quade has several friends in Bethel. Unfortunately he can't discuss things with them unless he's sure they are the chosen or he will put them in grave danger.

Clea is another pilot and makes smuggler runs in her ship Duplicity.

Trina is the daughter of the Keystone and is Quade's lover.

Aazrio is like security and bodyguard around the Keystone's household.

Clea has a mysterious friend named Avalon, she's the only one who ever sees him. He's some sort of Muse who can be seen by others but is easily forgotten. Avalon has taught Clea to be a compendium of knowledge of true history as opposed to the misinformation in most legend.

When things go badly for the Keystone the only hope is the legend, which is prophesy. Quade must be made to understand it all and he must find P'cadia and the Ave' in order to save the day.

There are a lot of players in the story and you almost need note cards to keep track. But the authors do a fair job of keeping things straight. The largest part of the story is the riddles and puzzles that have to be unfolded to get to the meat of the story.

For Quade it becomes a quest to save the Keystone and in so doing save his love Trina. In the end he must accept that he has to save the universe. Nothing is written in stone; as Quade discovers that there have been several groups of chosen that have come before him and failed.

This first book is the story of Quade's quest and struggle and it's the introduction of this Mage Universe and all of the intricacies that drive the magic and politics. It's accomplished quite well within a short number of pages, although it can become a daunting task to keep up with it all. It is sometimes frustrating that gods emissaries are either too cryptic or have not been told everything that Quade needs to know.

Anyone who has read other Techno-Mage type of fantasy fiction should love this one. It has Romance and intrigue and mystery and the big bad all well paced and has just the right ending to take you into the next book.

J.L. Dobias

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