Kirsten Reviews: A Play of Shadow by Julie E. Czerneda

, by Kt Clapsadl

A Play of Shadow by Julie E. Czerneda
Night's Edge #2

What would you risk for family?

The truthseer who won Jenn Nalynn’s heart, Bannan Larmensu, learns his brother-in-law was sent as a peace envoy to Channen, the capital of the mysterious domain of Mellynne, and has disappeared. When Bannan’s young nephews arrive in Marrowdell during a storm, he fears that his sister, the fiery Lila, has gone in search of her husband, leaving her sons in his care.

The law forbids Bannan from leaving Marrowdell and traveling to Mellynne to help his sister. At least, in this world.

As a turn-born, Jenn Nalynn has the power to cross into the magical realm of the Verge—and take Bannan with her. Once there, they could find a way into Mellynne, if they survive.

The Verge is wild and deadly, alive with strange magic. Dragons roar and kruar wait in ambush, and the powerful turn-born who tend their world do not care for Jenn Nalynn. But Jenn is willing to try. Their friends Wisp and Scourge -- and the house toads -- offer their help.

But what none of them know is that Channen is rife with magic, magic that flows from the Verge itself. And not even a turn-born will be safe there.

A Play of Shadow continues Julie E. Czerneda’s Night’s Edge series, and finds Jenn Nalynn and her lover, truthseer Bannan Larmensu dealing with some family issues. Bannan has learned that his brother-in-law was sent as a peace envoy to Channen, the capital city of Mellynne, and he has disappeared. Bannan’s nephews come to Marrowdell to see him, and he worries that his sister Lila has gone looking for her husband. But, the law forbids Bannan from leaving Marrowdell in order to help his sister. Well, at least in this world, and as a turn-born, Jenn is able to cross into the Verge, a magical realm beyond it. If she does so, and takes Bannan with her, they may be able to find their way to Mellynne, if they live through the journey.

After all, the Verge is no peaceful world, and is filled with magical creatures such as dragons and turn-born who don’t count Jenn as their friends. But this is Bannan’s family, and Jenn is willing to do what she can, so they set out with their friends Wisp and Scourge, as well as the house toads. Yet, there are more surprises in store, because Channen is also filled with magic, all of which comes directly from the Verge, and even Jenn may not be able to handle what that means.

With this book, the author builds on the world previously established, and in doing so, gives the audience a wider look at magic and the way it touches the different settings, people, and other creatures. It’s enough to present the story from feeling overwhelmed with the intricacies of magical rules that sometimes dominate works of fantasy. In addition, there are now political elements which Jenn and Bannan will have to take care in navigating.

Any fan of A Turn of Light who is concerned that a sequel might diminish the first book can rest easy, and rejoin Jenn, Bannan, and their friends, as they learn more about their world.
(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Beauty in Ruins


Previous Books:
     1. A Turn of Light


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