This review contains spoilers.
Stories tend to be a mix of the uncanny and the canny, or the unhomely and the homely. If we start things entirely in medias res, we are likely to confound the reader who is not yet acclimatised to the writer’s world. The assumption that the reader knows what’s going on in the author’s head is a failing of bad literature. Norwegian fantasy author LT Lindberg begins her engaging tale in the rather unsettling yet familiar environment of a mental health facility on Earth before the focus shifts with a flight from this world to a fantasy realm replete with spires and castles and sorcery and talking animals.
The set-up impresses because we can follow along with Cayla as she learns the history and myths surrounding this new world. The reader may wonder, though, if this is a world created entirely by heroine Cayla’s schizophrenic musings. Or is it a genuine dimension where an evil villain has cast a long shadow across the land, turning the living into undead servants to do his bidding, and trapping the four elemental lords of Earth, Wind, Fire and Water so that he can take control of the entire realm?
Cayla and her partner, Bren, must set out across this land on a dangerous mission to find the four elemental lords. Cayla’s unique skill-set as a Finder means that she has the best chance of locating the lords; Bren’s role as her protector means that she has someone to take care of her as she focuses on the search. The partnership is enhanced by a Bond shared between Finder and Protector, something far more powerful than a mere marriage.
These soulmates or twin flames must engage with giants and mermaids on this first episode of their adventure, before finally facing down the chief villain and doing battle with his minions and subjects. Five stars out of five!