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Review: Rhuna – Urban Fantasy Series Books 1-3

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

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!

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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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Review: Rhuna – Urban Fantasy Series Books 1-3

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

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!

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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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