The Katar Legacy
by Tobin Loshento
New Libri Press

"In his hand lay a ring with five small, white diamonds set equally apart, with a small black diamond in the center. Tsom hissed with fear. Memories of what had happened to his family rocked him back until he leaned against the wall. The man was Katar. Not just dangerous. The ring was death."

This story quickly involves readers in the details of the main character's life, making this book difficult to put down for any length of time. Before the reader is aware that this story does not take place on a familiar Earth, they have fully bought into the world created, accepting the reality of the five moons and the concept that there are multiple humanoid species co-existing in relative peace within a limited geographical space known collectively as The Cities. As Tsom makes his way through the festival crowds plying his preferred trade to great success, he suddenly discovers he has acquired much more than he bargained for. The young thief from the docks finds himself in a race for his life that whisks him into the center of a battle he's been running from since the day his parents were killed.

Well-written with a number of plot twists and multiple interesting characters thrown into the mix, Loshento delivers an enjoyable adventure that will leave readers waiting impatiently for more. Enemies turn out to be friends, friends may not be trusted, and it is never clear which side will win. Unafraid to maim or murder main characters, the reader is constantly concerned about who will be targeted next and whether they will achieve some form of miraculous rescue, transformation, or are simply and entirely gone. Mixing gods and mortals, magic and science, and never allowing anyone to be entirely good or evil, including gods, the story continues to surprise and entice from various angles.

The story flows at a comfortable rate, never bogging down too much with details but providing enough details to create a very rich and vibrant world. There is some action and violence depicted, but any details that might bother a sensitive reader are easily skipped without losing meaning. Even so, no details are provided that seem gratuitous, simply for the shock factor. Instead, they are clearly creating a sense of the mindset and personality of the individual committing each act or to clearly convey the hardships of the victim. Reading through the text, there are a few minor typos or incorrect terms being used, but these are minor and do not detract from the flow of the story. Some readers may be disappointed by the end of the story, but only because there aren't more pages to read just yet. This is definitely one of those stories that will have readers anxiously awaiting the sequel.

Loshento is consistent with his philosophy and magical limitations, except when he's intriguingly not. While there seems to be a clear 'bad guy', there is a nice blurring of the boundaries, leaving room for humanity to come forth (whether actually speaking of humans or another race) and a more detailed exploration of power dynamics. When the established rules of magic are broken, even the characters within the novel take note, calling attention to the fact and making it clear that these disparities are intentional. Part of the interest value of this book is discovering the answers to some of these questions. Overall, this is a book well worth the time invested.

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