Looming Shadow (Journey to Chaos #2)


SWORD AND SORCERY:  Book Two of this series continues with Eric Watley’s (or rather his Avatar’s) quest to increase his knowledge of mage craft and power in the alternate world of Tariatla. Eric has been stranded back in the land of Threa for three months since his return from previous adventures as an Otherworlder. Thanks to the trickster, Tasio, he returns to the world of Tariatla, along with his girlfriend, Emily, and rejoins friends he’d made on his previous journey. The entire group goes on a mission to collect research concerning mana mutation. The constant threat of danger keeps them all reaching for private reserves of strength and abilities just to survive. What remains of Eric at journey’s end will be anyone’s guess. 

The story begins with a confusing reunion between Eric and Tasio at a baseball game on Threa, and then has Eric trying to explain away the “magic trick” he used to thwart a convenience store robbery. Although suffering from mana-thirst since his return to his old home, he’s been gifted with enough self-confidence to acquire job success and a girlfriend. Back in Ariatla, the characters enter so quickly, it’s difficult to keep up. The creative map included is helpful, but a cast of characters in the beginning would be even more beneficial. Regardless, Mr. Wilkerson successfully draws one into his fantasy world with an imaginative storyline, sharp dialogue, and highly developed characters. The ending is satisfying and lays the groundwork for an equally entertaining sequel.

Lori Leger