The Wizard, the Warlord, and the Hidden WomanLost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered for they are gone forever. – Horace Mann

There can be no failure to a man who has not lost his courage, his character, his self-respect, or his self-confidence. He is still a King. – Orison Swett Marden

Jason Summer is what many of us want to be. A highly successful fantasy author. In his ‘position’ as “Undersecretary to Leetah, The Mage of the Rose”, Jason and his partner, Sonja Leto, enjoy a wonderful life together. Jason’s great love for Sonja inspires his work, and his life, allowing him to create a world of great beauty and creativity. A land of magic and beauty, life and death, magic and mystery. A land where Leetah, the Mage of the Rose, is right now in deep trouble. “She’s almost out of spells, down to a handful of loyal men, and the bad guys are closing in.”

Well, he can certainly write her out of her tight corner. But there is weirdness aplenty in the ‘real’ world. Jason’s brother Corey is acting very strangely. Of course, he has always despised Sonja for some reason beyond Jason’s comprehension. And of course Sonja hates him as well. But there are other things going on – such as mysterious e-mails addressed to Leetah, Mage of the Rose, from Muriel of the Melusines. Oddly phrased, archaic, her emails speak of magic, of invasions and magical flight. Flight which took her brother Zander, from her. Muriel needs Leetah’s help, desperately. Which is really strange, because magic doesn’t really work in this world, Muriel. How about you lay off the video games, Muriel?

Only, maybe Muriel isn’t as whacked as Jason and Sonja initially think. For something strange is certainly going on. And when Jason and Sonja actually end up on Muriel’s world, things go sideways. Saving Zander may get them back to their world – but there are, once again, deeper layers, larger stories, greater worlds. And what Jason finds out in this new, magical world will change not only his beliefs about reality, but will shake the very foundations of his soul.

Michael Angel is, without a doubt, one of my favorite authors. His character development when it comes to his mythical creatures truly pulls you into their lives, thoughts and hearts. His world building carries me into his realities, and his grasp of the human condition is alternately uplifting and heartbreaking.

I have written reviews of several of Michael’s other books, and this one is just as good, and in at least one way even better, than the other books I have reviewed. The heartbreak is heavy in this one – but the joy? The joy simply blew me away.

Enjoy!

I received this book from Michael as a gift. All thoughts are my own.

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