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Author: Barbara Underwood
Website: http://www.rhunafantasybooks.com/home.html
Genre: Historic Fantasy (Ancient Atlantis, Egypt, India, Tibet)

Review: Rhuna – Historic Fantasy Series Books 1-3

Original Storytelling!

I thoroughly enjoyed this trilogy of fantasy novels set in ancient Atlan (Atlantis) and Egypt. The author’s description of Atlan high culture is both imaginative and vivid, and so is her handling of the extraordinary abilities of the main character Rhuna and other Atlan masters. Woven into the story is a wide array of talents such as telepathy, remote viewing, herbal medicines, healing with light, astral travel, and energetic projection. Also touched on are the harmful practices of curses, ritual sacrifice of animals and children, parental abuse, and rape.

Rhuna is quite a likable character who starts out a bit on the naïve side in the first novel, Keeper of Wisdom, as she moves from humble beginnings on a remote island into the thriving Atlan capital and taught to handle her inborn abilities. Her awe and affection for Tozar and the Atlan masters as well as her misplaced fear of the banished Dark Master are understandable, but youthful.

The pace picks up considerably in the second book, Crossroads, where Rhuna and her teenage daughter travel to Atlan’s distant colony of Safu (Egypt) to investigate reports of the Dark Master’s followers. Out from under the shadow of her domineering spouse and the myopic Atlan High Council, Rhuna blossoms to become quite the spitfire, juggling the challenges of newfound abilities along with an unexpected, passionate new relationship. In the face of growing Atlan criticism, Rhuna admirably manages to hold to her personal integrity while she works to uncover the dangerous activities of some particularly nasty characters.

The third novel, The Star Child, finds Rhuna an outcast from Atlan society, but happily remarried and reunited with her father and eldest daughter. Unsettled when an adversary from her past resurfaces in Safu, she discovers that Goram (Beacon of the Night) has become the leader of a band of Atlans practicing the dark arts. Rhuna is horrified when her daughter falls for the roguish older man and does everything in her power to prevent the potentially harmful liaison.

The interesting thing about Goram is that he isn’t a two-dimensional “bad guy.” He’s charming, sensual, and dedicated to a cause he believes in. Although he makes choices I don’t agree with, he is nonetheless enormously appealing and likable, and shows signs of shifting his stance on some core beliefs. Maybe that’s what makes him so attractive.

This brings me to what I liked best about these books: the characters grow through difficult circumstances and choices which aren’t black and white. Rhuna transforms from an awe-struck girl into a talented adept and strong mother, learning the fine art of support through her own trials while Goram shifts from a self-serving, angry man into one who can love and change. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series to find out where Rhuna and her family end up next!

Review: The Summer Sojourn (Short Story)

Nice addition to the Rhuna saga!

I’ve read the first three novels of the Rhuna series and followed the character through many interesting adventures in the ancient world of the Atlans. This novella is set in Rhuna’s teen years while she is still in training to awaken her Atlan abilities.

The challenges Rhuna faces are the often difficult issues of becoming an adult: blossoming abilities and attractions, the strain that can arise between differing cultures, and the sometimes tragic ramifications of lies and jealousy. She also experiences a demonstration of wisdom and balanced judgment by the Atlan masters in resolving the conflict with the native people.

If you like multi-faceted series layered with psychic abilities and a touch of magic, you’ll enjoy this little gem.

Review: Rhuna: New Horizons (Book 4)

A lively tale!

The fourth volume of Rhuna’s journey takes her family to Judharo in the land of Arappa (ancient India) where they encounter new challenges with her old nemesis, the rogue Atlan adept known as the Dark Master who has learned to keep his consciousness intact after death and possess the body of another.

Despite great emotional difficulties with her husband and eldest daughter, Rhuna settles into a new culture and learns to build and fly an RTE (Rapid Transport Enclosure). When strange deaths begin to occur, she finds herself caught up in a conflict between a growing number of troublesome conjurers and an isolated group of Atlan masters.

I really enjoyed reading about Rhuna and her father’s psychic talents and was completely charmed by her young daughter, Shandi. Rhuna’s growing skill with out-of-body projection and her experiments with time travel were fascinating, although I was frankly surprised that everyone around her, including her father, chose to view her success in rescuing her mother as something unnatural. I would have liked to see Rhuna and Goram find a different solution to the problem they faced at the end of the book, but the series is full of intriguing ideas and I look forward to traveling with Rhuna on the next leg of her journey.

Review: Rhuna: The Snow Dreamer (Book 5)

Trouble with Tibetan Masters.

This story in the Rhuna saga picks up right where Book 4 left off. In the Land at the Top of the World, Rhuna and her extended family encounter a group of judgmental masters who declare they will be keeping her young daughter Shandi in order to train her to use her latent abilities. To further complicate matters, Rhuna is attacked by a tulpa, an artificial being controlled by an adept, while she journeys to seek the help of the Ascended Masters in the mythical land of Shambala.

In this book, we see traces of the Dark Master’s work cropping up again, but the antagonist ends up being someone unexpected. Rhuna’s talents continue to expand and I was quite pleased to see her daughter Lozira develop some long-needed inner strength. By the end of the story, Rhuna has overcome the difficulties challenging her family and is ready to move on to yet another leg of their journey.

This wonderful series is perfect for anyone who is intrigued by psychic abilities. It is a fascinating speculation about talents humans are thought to have developed in ancient cultures.

Review: The Master: Yarqi’s Story (Novella)

The best one yet.

I have been following the Rhuna series from the beginning and I have to say that this one is my favorite so far. It centers around Yarqi, a character who appears in Books 3-5 (so far). If you haven’t read the whole series, I recommend you read them first to better understand the action in this novella.

This is a story about a woman who is emotionally damaged and struggling to claim a direction for herself. She is looking for answers to latch onto, something to believe in since she doesn’t believe in herself. Sadly, she seeks validation outside of herself and falls prey to insidious influences masquerading as spiritual orders of truth and knowledge. The masters and their minions use her as a tool for their own ambitions, cleverly playing on her weakness. Yarqi believes she has found her true path and defends the new order, allowing herself to be controlled while finding excuses for doing things she knows are wrong.

The tale is well told and moves at a brisk pace. I especially liked Yarqi’s constant internal dialog which revealed her thinking, failings, and ultimately, her development. Rhuna appears in the novella as a side character, someone Yarqi is drawn to, but doesn’t know how to emulate. Goram plays an important role in the story as someone Yarqi has known and admired from the past. She finds him attractive and is drawn to his independent stance and strength, the voice in her world that gives her an anchor in the midst of growing terror.

This book is a fine addition to the Rhuna world and is definitely a “must read” for all Rhuna fans.

Review: Rhuna: Black City (Book 6)

The saga continues.

This series just keeps getting better! In the sixth book, Rhuna’s extended family takes up residence in an abandoned inn near a busy overland trade route to investigate rumors of the Black City. The familiar cast of characters, including Aradin, Shandi, Goram, Lozira, Damel, Kiana, Yarqi, Mohandu, and Panapu, are joined by the scribe Goll and new group of talented Atlan masters who have been sent by the High Council to stop the Dark Master’s latest disruptive activities.

As in the previous books, the charm of the story lies with the characters. This time, the primary challenge is played out by Goram who is obsessed with finding a path into the past to defeat the Dark Master by himself. Rhuna throws herself into her new role as innkeeper and is quite baffled when traders from the Ling-Yu Empire hail her as a prophesied figurehead. Her daughter Shandi is as spunky as ever and Lozira faces heart-breaking difficulties in her marriage. The new character Goll is a delight and I find the Atlan masters an interesting addition to Rhuna’s band.

Rhuna’s psychic abilities continue to expand. In addition to her explorations out-of-body, she learns to read auras and experiences direct connections with the Dark Master that span across time. The author also explores concepts of earth energetics in relation to the perceived flow of time and possible ramifications of manipulating past events. The ending of the story is a real surprise and ties up an important thread from earlier in the series quite nicely. It appears that Rhuna’s party will be traveling to the far east and I look forward to the next colorful chapter in this unusual fantasy series.

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Erin MacMichael is a science fantasy author and artist, creator of the T'nari Renegades series of novellas, novels, covers, and artwork. Her lifelong quest has been to explore past the boundaries of conventional thinking and figure out what really has transpired on this planet. She has traveled extensively throughout the world and lives in the Pacific Northwest with her marvelous offspring.

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Author: Barbara Underwood
Website: http://www.rhunafantasybooks.com/home.html
Genre: Historic Fantasy (Ancient Atlantis, Egypt, India, Tibet)

Review: Rhuna – Historic Fantasy Series Books 1-3

Original Storytelling!

I thoroughly enjoyed this trilogy of fantasy novels set in ancient Atlan (Atlantis) and Egypt. The author’s description of Atlan high culture is both imaginative and vivid, and so is her handling of the extraordinary abilities of the main character Rhuna and other Atlan masters. Woven into the story is a wide array of talents such as telepathy, remote viewing, herbal medicines, healing with light, astral travel, and energetic projection. Also touched on are the harmful practices of curses, ritual sacrifice of animals and children, parental abuse, and rape.

Rhuna is quite a likable character who starts out a bit on the naïve side in the first novel, Keeper of Wisdom, as she moves from humble beginnings on a remote island into the thriving Atlan capital and taught to handle her inborn abilities. Her awe and affection for Tozar and the Atlan masters as well as her misplaced fear of the banished Dark Master are understandable, but youthful.

The pace picks up considerably in the second book, Crossroads, where Rhuna and her teenage daughter travel to Atlan’s distant colony of Safu (Egypt) to investigate reports of the Dark Master’s followers. Out from under the shadow of her domineering spouse and the myopic Atlan High Council, Rhuna blossoms to become quite the spitfire, juggling the challenges of newfound abilities along with an unexpected, passionate new relationship. In the face of growing Atlan criticism, Rhuna admirably manages to hold to her personal integrity while she works to uncover the dangerous activities of some particularly nasty characters.

The third novel, The Star Child, finds Rhuna an outcast from Atlan society, but happily remarried and reunited with her father and eldest daughter. Unsettled when an adversary from her past resurfaces in Safu, she discovers that Goram (Beacon of the Night) has become the leader of a band of Atlans practicing the dark arts. Rhuna is horrified when her daughter falls for the roguish older man and does everything in her power to prevent the potentially harmful liaison.

The interesting thing about Goram is that he isn’t a two-dimensional “bad guy.” He’s charming, sensual, and dedicated to a cause he believes in. Although he makes choices I don’t agree with, he is nonetheless enormously appealing and likable, and shows signs of shifting his stance on some core beliefs. Maybe that’s what makes him so attractive.

This brings me to what I liked best about these books: the characters grow through difficult circumstances and choices which aren’t black and white. Rhuna transforms from an awe-struck girl into a talented adept and strong mother, learning the fine art of support through her own trials while Goram shifts from a self-serving, angry man into one who can love and change. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series to find out where Rhuna and her family end up next!

Review: The Summer Sojourn (Short Story)

Nice addition to the Rhuna saga! 

I’ve read the first three novels of the Rhuna series and followed the character through many interesting adventures in the ancient world of the Atlans. This novella is set in Rhuna’s teen years while she is still in training to awaken her Atlan abilities.

The challenges Rhuna faces are the often difficult issues of becoming an adult: blossoming abilities and attractions, the strain that can arise between differing cultures, and the sometimes tragic ramifications of lies and jealousy. She also experiences a demonstration of wisdom and balanced judgment by the Atlan masters in resolving the conflict with the native people.

If you like multi-faceted series layered with psychic abilities and a touch of magic, you’ll enjoy this little gem.

Review: Rhuna: New Horizons (Book 4)

A lively tale!

The fourth volume of Rhuna’s journey takes her family to Judharo in the land of Arappa (ancient India) where they encounter new challenges with her old nemesis, the rogue Atlan adept known as the Dark Master who has learned to keep his consciousness intact after death and possess the body of another.

Despite great emotional difficulties with her husband and eldest daughter, Rhuna settles into a new culture and learns to build and fly an RTE (Rapid Transport Enclosure). When strange deaths begin to occur, she finds herself caught up in a conflict between a growing number of troublesome conjurers and an isolated group of Atlan masters.

I really enjoyed reading about Rhuna and her father’s psychic talents and was completely charmed by her young daughter, Shandi. Rhuna’s growing skill with out-of-body projection and her experiments with time travel were fascinating, although I was frankly surprised that everyone around her, including her father, chose to view her success in rescuing her mother as something unnatural. I would have liked to see Rhuna and Goram find a different solution to the problem they faced at the end of the book, but the series is full of intriguing ideas and I look forward to traveling with Rhuna on the next leg of her journey.

Review: Rhuna: The Snow Dreamer (Book 5)

Trouble with Tibetan Masters.

This story in the Rhuna saga picks up right where Book 4 left off. In the Land at the Top of the World, Rhuna and her extended family encounter a group of judgmental masters who declare they will be keeping her young daughter Shandi in order to train her to use her latent abilities. To further complicate matters, Rhuna is attacked by a tulpa, an artificial being controlled by an adept, while she journeys to seek the help of the Ascended Masters in the mythical land of Shambala.

In this book, we see traces of the Dark Master’s work cropping up again, but the antagonist ends up being someone unexpected. Rhuna’s talents continue to expand and I was quite pleased to see her daughter Lozira develop some long-needed inner strength. By the end of the story, Rhuna has overcome the difficulties challenging her family and is ready to move on to yet another leg of their journey.

This wonderful series is perfect for anyone who is intrigued by psychic abilities. It is a fascinating speculation about talents humans are thought to have developed in ancient cultures.

Review: The Master: Yarqi’s Story (Novella)

The best one yet.

I have been following the Rhuna series from the beginning and I have to say that this one is my favorite so far. It centers around Yarqi, a character who appears in Books 3-5 (so far). If you haven’t read the whole series, I recommend you read them first to better understand the action in this novella.

This is a story about a woman who is emotionally damaged and struggling to claim a direction for herself. She is looking for answers to latch onto, something to believe in since she doesn’t believe in herself. Sadly, she seeks validation outside of herself and falls prey to insidious influences masquerading as spiritual orders of truth and knowledge. The masters and their minions use her as a tool for their own ambitions, cleverly playing on her weakness. Yarqi believes she has found her true path and defends the new order, allowing herself to be controlled while finding excuses for doing things she knows are wrong.

The tale is well told and moves at a brisk pace. I especially liked Yarqi’s constant internal dialog which revealed her thinking, failings, and ultimately, her development. Rhuna appears in the novella as a side character, someone Yarqi is drawn to, but doesn’t know how to emulate. Goram plays an important role in the story as someone Yarqi has known and admired from the past. She finds him attractive and is drawn to his independent stance and strength, the voice in her world that gives her an anchor in the midst of growing terror.

This book is a fine addition to the Rhuna world and is definitely a “must read” for all Rhuna fans.

Review: Rhuna: Black City (Book 6)

The saga continues.

This series just keeps getting better! In the sixth book, Rhuna’s extended family takes up residence in an abandoned inn near a busy overland trade route to investigate rumors of the Black City. The familiar cast of characters, including Aradin, Shandi, Goram, Lozira, Damel, Kiana, Yarqi, Mohandu, and Panapu, are joined by the scribe Goll and new group of talented Atlan masters who have been sent by the High Council to stop the Dark Master’s latest disruptive activities.

As in the previous books, the charm of the story lies with the characters. This time, the primary challenge is played out by Goram who is obsessed with finding a path into the past to defeat the Dark Master by himself. Rhuna throws herself into her new role as innkeeper and is quite baffled when traders from the Ling-Yu Empire hail her as a prophesied figurehead. Her daughter Shandi is as spunky as ever and Lozira faces heart-breaking difficulties in her marriage. The new character Goll is a delight and I find the Atlan masters an interesting addition to Rhuna’s band.

Rhuna’s psychic abilities continue to expand. In addition to her explorations out-of-body, she learns to read auras and experiences direct connections with the Dark Master that span across time. The author also explores concepts of earth energetics in relation to the perceived flow of time and possible ramifications of manipulating past events. The ending of the story is a real surprise and ties up an important thread from earlier in the series quite nicely. It appears that Rhuna’s party will be traveling to the far east and I look forward to the next colorful chapter in this unusual fantasy series.

Like and share this page!

Erin MacMichael is a science fantasy author and artist, creator of the T’nari Renegades series of novellas, novels, covers, and artwork. Her lifelong quest has been to explore past the boundaries of conventional thinking and figure out what really has transpired on this planet. She has traveled extensively throughout the world and lives in the Pacific Northwest with her marvelous offspring.

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