When wizards threaten Glorianna Belladonna and her work to keep Ephemera balanced, her brother Lee sacrifices himself in order to save her-and ends up an asylum inmate in the city of Vision.
But a darkness is spreading through
Vision, perplexing the Shamans who protect it. And Lee is the only one
who can shed any light on its mysteries...
Comment: This is the third book in the Ephemera world created by Anne Bishop. The first two books focused on Sebastien and Belladonna, two of the main characters in the trilogy. Now it's time for Lee's protagonism, although his presence is a bit ore subdued and probably why the title isn't 'Lee'.
I had hopes for this book and in terms of plot, it delivered.
In this book, Lee sends himself to an unknown place in Ephemera in order to save those he loves from being touched by the enemy. He ends up in Vision, a city where the inhabitants weren't aware of the danger of wizards and their actions. Lee comes up with a plan to return home but he sees he has a lot to do to help those he comes to care about, like Danyal, the shaman responsible for the asylum where Lee is and Zhahar, the strange woman he seems to be falling for...
This book is part of a trilogy and in my opinion can't be read as a stand alone, because there is too much information to know previously. Although the story is understood anyway, I still think the jump from nothing to the place where the plot happens can be a bit too confusing for new readers. I'm not a new reader and I found the difficulty of reading about a place that didn't know about how Ephemera worked and about the happenings in the previous books.
The plot is, as the author has got us used to, impressive in terms of imagination and world building. There's the trademark society building which I find appealing and captivating in every book by her. I feel confidant to say she is one of the most talented writers out there in her field. In this novel, we follow Lee and two other main characters in the voyage through their fears and beliefs and in finding out what they can be to achieve well being and that need to help and be helpful. I felt the character's choices and the difficulty it pertained. The most obvious thing is how the characters think what they should do but they always took action and how that shows their personality is done very precisely by the author and is one of the reasons she does this so well, in my opinion.
The plot revolves around the same issues of the previous novels and this time there's a new place that is danger and Lee is the one who sees what is happening and tries to find help not only for the city of Vision but for Zhahar as well. In terms of plot, once again it took imagination and creativity but in that area I think it had the necessary course and end, everything seemed to be balanced ad interesting until the end.
In terms of personal development, I think there was some kind of closure missing at the end. We get quite the idea about Lee and Zhahar from the moment they meet and the end is promising but honestly I found it lacking because so much has to do with Zhahar and her people and how that affects her actions and beliefs in relationships and rituals. However, we never see an explanation for certain issues and I feel that wasn't done well and I ended up feeling we never get an objective answer to the problems Zhahar had to deal with before getting her happiness. I really think this had to be addressed and it wasn't and although there's a hint of HEA in the end, I wasn't convinced because Zhahar's problem wasn't dealt with, at least not in a way the reader could understand completely. What a pity....
Overall, I liked this story like I have enjoyed most of the author's work, but this book did have a lack of resolution good enough to be accepted. I can't get past that, so despite the good mark for the book in general, it just isn't better because character explanation is missing and it feels like a ripped page we never got. Really nerve wracking.