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The Final Sacrificeby Patricia Bray
Synopses & Reviews
In one man, two souls fight for survival—and for mastery of an outlaw magic that could save a kingdom.
It was a fate Josan once considered preferable to death. Cast by dark sorcery into the body of Emperor Lucius of Ikaria, the scholar-monk struggled to make peace with a mind that regarded him as a hostile intruder. But now, as simmering rivalries threaten to plunge the kingdom into a bloody civil war, Josan is faced with the most difficult choice of all. For the uneasy truce between him and Lucius is unraveling in a form of madness that is destroying the body they share. Theres only one hope for a cure.
Disguised, stowing away as a common traveler, Josan/Lucius will make the hazardous journey to Xandropol. There in the great library of the Learned Brethren, Josan hopes to find the forbidden magic that will counter the spell that yokes him and Lucius. But an old antagonist is already on their trail: the Lady Ysobel follows them to what she realizes is the scene of her and Josans fateful first meeting. But not even she divines the reason for this final pilgrimage: that Josan has returned to sacrifice his life.
"Though billed as the closer to a trilogy (following 2007's The Sea Change), this low-key climax to the chronicles of scholarly monk Josan and reluctant Ikarian Emperor Lucius stands surprisingly well on its own. Their souls trapped together in Lucius' failing body, they must risk a much-interrupted sea voyage in search of sorcery capable of freeing at least one of the pair. Meanwhile, plotters within and beyond Ikaria threaten both the succession and the empire. Bray's quasi-Mediterranean setting is ably if lightly sketched, and even the most ambitious of Lucius' onstage adversaries are genuinely likable. The novel's most fantastical element is its refreshingly sincere political climate; by contrast, there's little physical action or deeply rooted conflict, and at least one unseen enemy remains at book's end. At the same time, the diplomatic intrigues often sidetrack the plot rather than furthering character development, rendering the finale abrupt and intrusive. Flaws notwithstanding, amiable storytelling and brisk pacing make this an agreeable summer read. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The author of "The First Betrayal" and "The Sea Change" returns with the final book in her trilogy featuring the dual-souled Josan/Lucius, a prince whose conflict within himself is as imminent as the war over his land. Original.
About the Author
Paricia Bray inherited her love of books from her parents, both of whom were fine storytellers in the Irish tradition. She has always enjoyed spinning tales, and turned to writing as a chance to share her stories with a wider audience. Patricia holds a master's degree in Information Technology, and combines her writing with a full-time career as an I/T Project Manager.
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