The Kura

Mary Patterson

FANTASY:  Years after her older brother, Billy, disappeared, Alyssha Dodson lands where he went - a parallel world called Bandor. Unlike Billy, she returns home to their father. Five years later, the medallion given to her by a friend starts to glow, and she knows it’s time to go back. Whether it’s permanent, like Billy, now called Bela Ru, or not, her destiny is not on Earth. Billy helped to create a new government, and other countries are considering joining a multi-state union. Alyssha’s friend, and longtime fantasy, Kardl, became a prince by default, and though he leads no nation, he, Bela Ru, Alyssha, and their few allies are all that stand in the way of war.


Bandor, though not our world, is a “what might have been”, if things were only slightly different. Built on the theory of parallel universes where actions change destinies everywhere, readers will immediately recognize England and America just as the Industrial Revolution started, because that’s where Bandor is at—the cusp of democracy. Bandor has race issues, similar to ours, but their entire continent is so mixed that skin color became less important than ancestry and clans, feeling much more like Highlander versus Lowlander versus Border versus the English than black versus white. In that vein, the entire opening sequence inside her friend’s home is not only irrelevant, but does the story an incredible disservice, setting readers up for a racially divisive tale, which, although there, is not the main point. Close enemies, hidden friends, love, and the battle to build up a world without making the same mistakes is the point—and it is poetically made.


Julie York