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Twilight Crossings II
by: Jeanne Allen, Jeanine Berry, Shannah Biondine & Sheri McGathy
Review by: Tina Morgan  

When I was asked to read the latest anthology by Jeanne Allen, Jeanine Berry, Shannah Biondine, and Sheri L. McGathy I said 'yes!' without hesitation. The authors have teamed up again to create Twilight Crossings II, the sequel to their previous anthology by the same name. Like the original, this collection is sure to delight fantasy fans of all ages.

The book opens with Sheri McGathy's Where Lies Beauty, a tale inspired by a fairy tale that captured this reader's attention from the first paragraph. McGathy sets the tone for her story very quickly with the questions: "What was perfection without the shadow of fault?  and "Can beauty's light survive if hidden within the cloying mantle of darkness?"  Tanner must learn to cry again if Manny's world is to be saved but years of brutality and slavery have taught her never to surrender to her emotions.

Mourn a Moonreft Sky takes us into Shannah Biondine's dark fantasy world of Dredonia. The scholar, Zavend is more than he seems yet despite his origins, his naiveté threatens the success of his mission. He finds his convictions and beliefs challenged by the nearly blind bounty hunter, Praxis who accompanies him. Can they learn to work together to uncover the identity of a murderer?

Jeanine Berry's Well of Forever is set in the forgotten desert city of Maric where forbidden magic lies hidden from all but the seeress, Caireya. A slave to the power-mad Demor, Caireya is willing to sacrifice everything to save her world from his tyranny. First she must find the long last wand of Lohar, the mage whose disappearance ushered in the Cataclysm that nearly destroyed all of humanity. If she fails, Demor will bring on the second Cataclysm.

The final story in the collection is The Treasure of Arvalis by Jeanne Allen. Eirena's people have lived peacefully on the island of Ignatia for generations. They never learned to fight because their goddess, Solone protected them from all harm but they've forgotten the old ways and Solone has fallen silent. In her absence, invaders come from the mainland and overrun the island. The high priestess of the temple, Eirena struggles to find a way to placate their goddess and save her people from destruction.

Each story of the anthology transports the reader to a vivid setting with strong characters. Choosing a favorite out of the four stories would be impossible. Twilight Crossings II is well written and very enjoyable. The authors have done a wonderful job of creating stories I'll reread many more times.

Available September 2004 in e-book and December 2004 with Double Dragon E-books  

Twilight Crossings II earns a * * * * 1/2.

Rating Scale:
* * * * * = Un-put-downable, excellent reading!
* * * * = Good value, interesting reading.
* * * = Had potential, but could have been better.
* * = Slow, difficult to read, could have been improved.
* = Imminently forgettable.


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