Monday, November 19, 2007

Damselflies: An Ancient Mirrors Tale by Jayel Gibson

ISBN: 9781933538648 - Synergy Books (2007)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (10/07)

Set during a time of magic, "Damselflies" begins with the story of Arcinae and her mate Ilerion.  Arcinae is the last of the Damselflies.  Her race was destroyed by a warlord who feared them and their magic.  Barely surviving herself, she is aided by others who want to save her magic.  Ilerion rescues her and teaches her to defend herself.  This totally goes against her nature, but she must be willing to be violent to survive.  In time, they fall in love and have two daughters.  The second part of the book tells the story of the two Halfling daughters.
J'yorie is the strong one.  She is a warrior like her father.  She has been born without wings and therefore is able to hide her Damselfly blood.  Her sister A'Janae has the wings of a damselfly.  She is the gentler of the two.  When she is kidnapped, J'yorie goes in search of her. She goes with trusted friends, but along the way she encounters others that are willing to help. She has to decide whom to trust.  Not everyone is what they appear to be.
Jayel Gibson has written an incredible, timeless fantasy novel.  I had such a hard time putting this book down.  I was disappointed when it ended and it is over four-hundred pages!  Since the story is written in a different place, she supplies maps that help the reader understand the lay of the land.  Ms. Gibson also includes an extensive glossary that makes it easier to understand some of the terms and the names of the people being discussed.
In spite of this being a fantasy tale, there are undercurrents of prejudice, suspicion, and distrust that we see among different cultures in our mundane world.  As in the novel, what is not understood by one race tends to be feared and hated by another.  The people in this novel, who were not prejudiced, greatly benefited from their relationships with those of the other races.  Except for the trolls and a few other creatures, the supernatural races all seemed to be able to work together; they did not fear each others gifts such as man did.
I highly recommend "Damselfies" to people who enjoy fantasy fiction.  This is a well-written, quality novel.  I look forward to other books that will be a part of "The Ancient Mirrors Tale" series.  

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