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The Reckoning of Asphodel

by Celina A. Summers

      Young Tamsen de Asphodel, in the opening sequences of this novel, witnesses the murder of her parents and the destruction of all she holds dear at the hands of her uncle - an obviously powerful and cruel mage. When next the reader meets Tamsen she is no longer a young child and is traveling with her foster family into the heart of the Elvin realm - the stronghold of a people who have ample reason to distrust and despise Tamsen and all the rest of humankind. But Tamsen is not only human she is also half-elf and, unbeknownst to her, royalty as well.

Thus begins what could possibly be but one in a sea of fantasy novels for young adults. What makes this tale rise high on the tide, at least for this reader - an admitted fantasy purist - is two-fold. Most importantly, Celina Summers maintains supreme control of an archetypal fantasy story structure while making the tale fresh and engaging enough for even the most diehard fantasy reader. She weaves a tale that is both familiar and unexpected; because she remains so true to the genre, readers can trust her to lead them to explore untried paths in a familiar fantasy landscape. In addition, the author brings to life a fresh young female protagonist who is strong, passionate, and unquestionably believable. Not once does Celina Summers take the easy and predictable path and allow Tamsen to become a stock character. Rather, she continues to develop an exasperating, exciting, and enchanting young woman whom the reader comes to love and champion.

The Reckoning of Asphodel is a book to delight both those who revel in fantasy and those who are new to the genre. For the fantasy purist the book is a delightful new foray into already familiar territory - it will not disappoint. For the fantasy novice it is combination of adventure, romance, combat, deception and intrigue set in new landscape which all readers will anticipate returning to as Celina Summers continues the saga of Asphodel.

The Book

Aspen Mountain Press
August 11, 2007
Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy [Age Group: 14 - 21]
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The Reviewer

Louanne Clayton Jacobs
Reviewed 2008
© 2008