by Dara Joy

August 2004
ISBN: 0-9753549-0-6
Reviewer Graphic Button House of Sages
Trade Paperback

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At last, Dara Joy fans have true cause for rejoicing! Her long-awaited new book has finally reached our hot little hands, and heated them even further. With her characteristic touch of humor and passion, Dara takes us back to the world of the Familiar, the cat-like race of sensual shape-shifting beings that has so entranced us in previous novels. Under serious threat from another race, the planet M’yan has become a closed world in an attempt to keep the Familiars safe from the threat of Karpon and his torturers. This does not sit well with Soosha, a woman who rebels against the restrictions placed on her people. It is in her nature to prowl the Universe and she has no intention of stopping now.

Her unauthorized trip through the tunnels to another world brings her adventure, jeopardy…and Daxan Sahain, enigmatic resident of the planet Spoltan. What ensues for Soosha and Daxan is intriguing, passionate and surprising…also extremely annoying for her brother Brygar who is sent to retrieve her. His companion? None other than Traed, another old friend who continues to intrigue readers. To say more would be to spoil the story…and that would be unfair to anyone who has been eagerly waiting for this book.

I confess to adoring Dara’s work. I also urge you to read the previous tales, since much in this story refers to past adventures and races. I would not really describe it as a stand-alone work, although it is an exciting read. So much more can be gleaned with a solid background in the Joy universe.

Interestingly enough, this book is not unlike a “special edition” DVD - there are bonus features. Treating her readers to her poetry, Dara also includes an interesting short story about a woman, a forest and a man…and one of the most sensual romances I’ve ever read. It’s challenging, demanding the reader follow this character’s footsteps into magical glades, her own insecurities and the arms of a dream man. Truly fascinating stuff and an absolute delight.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book - it’s everything we love about Dara’s writing with additional twists that add depth and interest beyond the norm. Yes, I’m a fan, so I’m biased - and I’m proud of it. Her worlds are wonderful places to visit and I, for one, am ecstatic to be able to share them with her once more. If you haven’t got some “Joy” on your shelves, then you’re missing a treat.

Reviewed in August 2004 by Celia.

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