Zortega’s Qualum: And The Shadow Walker
by Lagina Weaver and Darryl Johnson

"For as long as he could remember, every Saturday and Sunday morning, him and his dad would head out back to train in magic and combat."

The joint effort of married authors Weaver and Johnson, this fantasy follows high school track star Dev Vanseal as he navigates life with his parents and siblings as visitors on Earth from a magical land called Zortega. Dev's father, Rodney, is the leader of the Capricorn line of the Zodiacs, and as the eldest, Dev is heir to the title and position. Each of the Zortegans that live on Earth belongs to one of the twelve Zodiac lines, each with its own leader. Every Zortega has a familiar, and the two are tied together in a bond that can only be broken in the case of wrongful death. Strange magic-related deaths and the subsequent transformations of some familiars into evil creatures called Kantors warrants a meeting of the Council of Zodiacs. Not only do Dev's family and friends find themselves in danger, but they must also help the council defeat an existential threat to Zortega.

This fantasy thriller offers a unique new look at the genre. A blend of fantasy and myth with doses of astronomy and astrology, this is, above all, a story of loyalty. As the protagonist finds himself in episodes of danger, his family and friends are there to lend help. The plot is filled with plenty of action, and the story draws the reader in from the book's beginning. The use of the zodiac to represent the major lines of the magical Zortegans on earth is an interesting aspect of the story, as is the attachment of a familiar to each Zortega. Readers will find themselves eagerly turning pages to discover if the Prophecy of the Thirteenth will come to fruition, and if the Council of Zodiacs will prevail. Fans of the genre shouldn't miss this one.

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