Shadow from the Past
by E.A. Rappaport
Owl Publishing

"...It is very dangerous to wander in the wilderness alone."

When Jarlene's mentor, Zehuti, an eccentric Arboreal mystic searching for human magic, his wife, and home are consumed by mysterious green flames, the orphaned apprentice takes up the quest. His community blames their enemies and some officials attempt to promote war. Jarlen wants proof and promises to find it. Remembering the teachings of his father-figure, he enters the Forbidden Wood on a dual quest: to seek answers for the deaths and to develop his own power. It is a world much different from the one he knows, one he may soon regret entering. To survive the trek, Jarlen relies on those powerful gifts and colorful dreams to extradite himself from living vines bent on strangling him and various other dangers. Deep in the wilderness, he meets Tyraz, a Fen enemy-warrior, and forms an alliance to find answers to the green flames threatening both communities. This joining together may be the only true way to stop a bloody war of revenge. And as happens in true life, the real enemy is too close for comfort.

Rappaport offers excellent pacing, a pleasing use of supernatural and magical events, and an effective plot to create a world of wizards and villains. And living in his tree houses is nothing like the Swiss Family Robinson. The unpredictability of humans and warriors, with distrust in the mix, offers an entertaining journey. Readers seeking vivid action and a nicely developed fantasy world will find this novel, third book in a series, an appealing work.

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