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|Sumerian God Enki|
By Dakota Banks
The Mortal Path Series, opening with Dark Time, is edgy, exciting, extraordinary... And the main character, Maliha Crayne is the reason why. Just take a look at the cover of the book; she's right there, center stage, demanding that you look at her--see how she's dressed, marvel at the weapons she carries...Yet see her bended shape, as if lost to anything but what is happening to her at that moment.
In action, she's a very, very, dangerous woman...
But she was not always as she is now. She was Susannah Layhem at one time, married and soon to be a mother. Unfortunately it was the year 1692. She was noticed because she was an herbalist and she was called a witch. She gave birth to her child in prison, without anyone to help her or her child who died. And soon she was set on fire to die as many other women had...
Before she died, however, she found herself somewhere else.She was being offered a chance to live--all she must do is serve Rabishu, a demon. By doing so, she would gain immortality... Susannah chose life!
And the first thing she had to do to gain life? To murder the woman who had accused her of being a witch! She pulled her into the very fire in which they had placed Susannah. And when she was dead, she threw her aside and walked out of that fire, past the terrified villagers who had been so quick to accuse...
Her power was great, she could easily heal from any wound and she now would do only the bidding of her master. She was now Ageless. During hundreds of years she had killed upon command, had gained many riches, and had been taught much about the ancient arts of death.
But then, in our time, in 1951, in fact, she was sent to kill but when she arrived the wife was pregnant and while her husband was murdered, she had come to find him, her baby was coming!
Immediately Susannah was thrown back to her own time of pregnancy, when she'd had to face her child's birth alone. The woman screamed to get away, but Susannah saw that the umbilical cord was around the child's neck. It would surely die. While damning her, still the mother sought help so that her child would live.
And the one who had murdered upon command, bent to help the child and later held the new life in her arms, thinking of her own Constanza, who she had never held alive...
After 263 years serving the death commands of a demon, her one act of compassion awakened her conscience!
And it had also awakened Anu, Ruler of the Sky, who insisted that she be given a choice. She now could choose not to continue to serve Rabishu!
Now it is her role to choose to save lives whenever possible and when she does, an opportunity is presented by which the scales of death can be balanced...Maliha fights a new game now!
In my opinion, this female heroine is way beyond any that fantasy has brought to us before! And as she has saved lives, she has gained a group of individuals who now support her work. Interestingly she is an author for her cover story. But it is in the small details that Banks sets this character apart. The method of actually balancing the scales between those lives saved versus those formerly destroyed is just one image that readers will find is uniquely unforgettable. Truly Awesome Stuff! My review for Sacrifice, second in the series, coming next!
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