When Sarabande's sister Dryad haunts her for three years beyond the grave, Sarabande begins a dangerous journey into the past to either raise her cruel sister from the dead, ending the torment, or to take her place in the safe darkness of the earth. In spite of unsettling predictions about her trip, Sarabande leaves the mountains of Pyrrha and Montana on a black horse nameWhen Sarabande's sister Dryad haunts her for three years beyond the grave, Sarabande begins a dangerous journey into the past to either raise her cruel sister from the dead, ending the torment, or to take her place in the safe darkness of the earth. In spite of unsettling predictions about her trip, Sarabande leaves the mountains of Pyrrha and Montana on a black horse named SikimI and heads for the cornfields of Illinois in search of Robert Adams, the once powerful Sun Singer, hoping he can help with her quest.One man tries to kill her alongside a deserted prairie road, another tries to save her with ancient wisdom, and Robert tries to send her away. Even if she persuades him to bring the remnants of his magic to Dryad's shallow grave, the desperate man who follows them desires the rowan staff for ill intent, and the malicious sister who awaits their arrival wants much more than a mere return to life....
|Number of Pages||:||234 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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Matter of taste, and mine has never led me, not easily, to fantasy or science fiction reading--yet Malcolm R. Campbell, with his fantasy novel Sarabande, easily pulled me in. The main character, our mythic heroine, is Sarabande, and she appeals in every way to the female reader. She is street smart at the same time that she is savvy, and even as she enters a world unknown to her, she is sharp and strong enough to find her way through challenge after challenge, disaster after nightmare.Sarabande's quest is to find her own peace--she has been haunted by her dead sister for years. Her quest takes her into the past to settle the unsettled with her sister Dryad, an anti-heroine, or to take her sister's place in the grave. She travels through Montana and Illinois and across time to accomplish her mission, but encounters a nightmare along the way in the shape of a man, Danny Jenks, a brutal truck driver without conscience.Campbell describes a rape scene that is difficult to read, yet at the same time, earns my respect with his skill in describing this scene, and its aftermath on the woman. Indeed, I had to keep reminding myself I was reading the writing of a male author. It is rare to find this ability in an author to cross genders even in everyday basics such as conversation, mannerisms. To do so in describing the effect of rape on a woman's body and psyche is nothing short of amazing. Campbell nails it: her anger, her pain, her humiliation, her ferocity that eventually takes her from victim to survivor to avenger.Blending the fantasy world near seamlessly with reality, Campbell takes the reader from one world into the other and back again with such ease that the reader can easily enter the world of suspended disbelief required to read fantasy. Flying horses vanish and reappear. The dead rise from their graves. Magical beings intermingle with humans. And, not least magical, Campbell avoids cliché deftly, finding new ways to express scenes that could easily fall into the former category:"Sarabande pushed the hood back and let the wind seize her hair and jumble it with the stuff of clouds."See? Dipping one toe into an image that could make one wince, he manages to dance away with fresh expression. It works.Sarabande is a satisfying read. We are given a heroine we can understand and with whom we can sympathize. We travel alongside her through conflict and challenge, cheering her on. She suffers and endures, and finally rises above. How she does this ... you'll have to read for yourself.Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of two other fantasies, The Sun Singer (who returns in this novel) and Garden of Heaven: An Odyssey, also a comedy satire called Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire. He lives in Georgia.
Sarabande is an amazingly well told tale of redemption that starts off with Sarabande seeking Robert Adams help to settle Dryad’s haunting torment. Her quest starts off well through the dimensional divide and Mr. Campbell’s poetic prose is spellbinding as he paints a picture of Sarabande riding Sikimi through the night sky. Things then go terribly awry in a horrific set of events. Sarabande must draw on all of her inner strength to survive.Sarabande finds an ally in Billy Looks Far, who is able to help her on many levels to put her back on the path to fulfill her quest. However, she must find her own way to recover from the emotional turmoil and to find her way back to her own power. The plot is full of twists that caught me off guard at times. She does find Robert who is fully Robert Adams, not the Osprey she was actually seeking. He has turned his back on being the Sun Singer to appease his parents. Finding no help from Osprey, Sarabande plans to head back home without help. The trickster coyote delays her trip which gives Robert time to change his mind about going back with her.But hold on, the twists in the plot are ongoing and Sarabande teaches Robert about trusting your guide instead of your own logic. Magic and logic don’t often travel hand in hand. The plights they encounter are surprising on both sides of the dimensional divide. Events are disastrous and surprising once again. Mr. Campbell may have as well have torn my insides out with the way this story ended. However, it seems as though Sarabande is well on her way to healing her psyche. Which left me feeling good, however, the why and how of it still has me debating. I have to learn how to trust the author, right?FYI: Sarabande is book 2 in the Mountain Journeys series. I should include this book contains a rape scene and other scenes with graphic violence. So if you are sensitive about those subjects, BEWARE! **Originally written for "BigAl’s Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy.** January 5, 2016
Sarabande's story is a familiar one for most women. She comes from a place which is harsh and cruel and disempowers her until she transforms herself from survivor to fighter. Most who read Campbell's novel will find themselves forced to inspect events in their own lives which have robed them of their power, and will have to question themselves on whether or not they have remained survivors or become fighters.