This first fantasy novel by science fiction troubadour Julie Czerneda, A Turn Of Light, slips the reader into complete wonder. Julie has always entertained us in truly immense ways with her stories of far yonder places in science fiction. This one truly shines as a fantasy debut.
It is the “coming of age” story of Jenn who languishes in a frontier village. Jenn has “romance travel fever” and seeks to find adventure beyond her erstwhile circumstances. Her invisible friend (ha! a dragon) tries to keep her in the village, but Jenn, being of marriageable age decides to magic herself a husband that will take her on the road. Oops! Jenn’s world becomes magic enchantment with gorgeous storytelling.
The “invisible friend” dragon, turned husband, ( I did say oops…) is the least of her troubles. A horse, more magic, true love and mismatched circumstances launch Jenn on a journey filled with trouble, albeit with more fun than you can imagine. But, not for the reasons you think. The Verge is the in-between world that special Jenn is trapped in, because leaving Morrowdale would release the Verge’s evil. Jenn is the catalyst that holds sinister forces in check.
In this rousing chronicle, the reader will be completely taken away on a fantastic tale of discovery, adventure, treasure and amazement. The Verge and a wonderful coming of age story with rich descriptions and detailed world building leaves nothing disappointing. Terrific fantasy, in a hugely overcrowded market, “A Turn Of Light” contributes a shining (pun intended) example of what a masterful story teller can do with dragons, guardian toads and magic, instead of space ships (although we know Julie’s Sci-Fi is way much more than that).
I absolutely loved this book. It is NOT just a feminine story. I can’t wait for the next one… A Play Of Shadow. “A Turn Of Light” is more than superior. It should be found at the top of your list. This is a review I did for DAW/Penguin and I am especially proud to read this one.