The One Great Year Series,
Tamara Veitch & Rene DeFazio
Waterside Press, Oct 2018
200 pages, Kindle, paperback, audiobook, audio CD
Provided by Authors
The cover is subtle but attractive. When I first saw the design, I thought of an old quilt pattern called Orange Peel. However, once I got involved in the story, I realized that the six petals within the circle are a flower design. It is the flower of life. The pattern and mention of it recur often in the story. This is not simply a pretty line drawing to cover the front of the book, but an integral part of the story that one comes to understand as you get into the story and get to know the characters and events unfold.
The story itself is simple and yet it may seem complex at the same time. The people of Atitala were facing the end of their world. To carry the knowledge and cultural ideas of their advanced civilization out to the generations to follow, they sent Emissaries into time. These Emissaries would live and try to spread their knowledge, die and be reborn to start all over again. In this way, the knowledge and cultural ways of Atitala would be carried on down the centuries until the world was ready for it again. There is good in the world and we see it so clearly because there is bad in the world to compare it to. So with the Emissaries, there were good and there were bad.
The authors created characters for each of these roles and did so well, that one just can’t imagine any of them crossing over to the other’s camp. Marcus and Theron play by the rules and are squeaky clean. Theron is the daughter of the highest of the Elders, White Elder. There are eight Elders, each assigned a color of the light spectrum from white to black. The Black Elder does not mingle with the common population as he is definitely “bad” and can’t function within the society as others do. At the other end of the spectrum, as you may guess, White Elder is the best of the best so that Green, Red, Yellow, Blue, Orange, and Grey Elder fall somewhere in between. I love using color for designators. Into this elevated, enlightened culture was born three children, Marcus, Theron, and Helghul. All three predicted to do great things for their people and culture.
The authors have created characters who travel through time with each of their rebirths and sometimes recognize each other and sometimes not. With each rebirth, they must create a new character and yet retain something of the original character, which the authors have done rather cleverly. As turn and turn again over the centuries the three main characters tumble through time, only two of them retaining any memory of their joint past. The third often a catalyst for violence and destruction.
The pace keeps things moving from start to stop and the tension remains high for the most part. There were times when I thought things were being drawn out a bit, but you can’t tell the story of centuries in just a few pages. The meeting at the end of this book took me not so much by surprise but seemed a bit abruptly handled after the previous centuries. But perhaps that was to make it feel immediate and in the present, which it certainly did. Now, I need to get the second book of this set to find out what happens. I recommend this to readers who enjoy fantasy with a mythological feel to it, almost a Biblical feel to it. I sort of kept looking for Moses to show up with some stone tablets but the culture is way too advanced for stone tablets, maybe iPads. Book two of this set, The Emerald Tablet is due out June 4th! And Book three already has a cover!