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Shade and Sorceress

The Last Days of Tian Di

by Catherine Egan

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fantasy & magic, mythical
list price: $6.95
also available: Paperback
published: 2012
publisher: Coteau Books
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Two Worlds

The Mancers, ancient scholars, magicians and mystical protectors, have come looking for Eliza Tok. Long ago, the Mancers separated the One World, Tian Di, into two, for the protection of humans. Eliza’s world is Di Shang, and the other world is Tian Xia. The Mancers want to bring Eliza to their Citadel to begin teaching her to become a sorceress like her dead mother, and help guard the Crossings between the worlds. But Eliza shows no signs of magical abilities and all she wants is to go home to her father and her friend Nell.
There are others looking for Eliza, spies of the Xia Sorceress. She is the most terrible, ruthless and evil being in the worlds. The Mancers, with the help of Eliza`s mother, imprisoned the Xia Sorceress years ago in the Arctic of Di Shang.
Finally, after what seems to be a fruitless time of study, the Mancers put Eliza to a test. They give her Shang Sorceress clothing and a staff, and send her to battle a hound of the Crossing. And “something deep inside her, deeper than a physical place, something like a tight seed buried in warmth and darkness, suddenly burst . . .” She is able to kill the creature, but her difficulties with magic are not at an end. Eliza finds out that the Xia Sorceress has snatched her father. After Nell comes to visit, Eliza learns that Charlie, the boy she thought was her friend is not what he seems at all.
Eliza, her friend Nell, and Charlie escape the Mancer Citadel and cross into Tian Xia. They hope to find a way to the evil sorceress, so that they can save Eliza’s father. Many strange and difficult things must be faced on the journey. Will Eliza ever develop her magical powers?
The book contains traditional elements of fantasy such as dragons, faeries, good and evil characters. However, the author puts her own stamp on these elements to create a unique story, which moves along at a good pace. The reader is kept guessing as to what may happen next.
Author Catherine Egan was born and grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia. After university, she taught English in Japan and China. She now lives in New Haven, Connecticut with her husband and children. “Shade and Sorceress” is the first book in “The Last Days of Tian Di” fantasy series.


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  • Short-listed, Snow Willow Award
  • Runner-up, Gold Moonbeam Award
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The powerful and learned Mancers arrive in Eliza’s town to take her away to their Citadel. The only problem is they have made a terrible mistake – Eliza isn’t the powerful Sorceress they think her to be. Or is she? Eliza is stunned to learn her father, Rom Tok, has been keeping important secrets: her mother’s death wasn’t from pneumonia, but the death of all great Shang Sorceresses: killed in battle against evil forces. Even so, Eliza’s lessons with the Mancers at their Citadel show them what she has always known – she can’t do any magic. The final brave act of Eliza’s mother was to trap the evil Xia Sorceress, Nia, in an Arctic prison. But Nia is still powerful enough to use her minions to capture Rom Tok. Escaping the Citadel with her best friend Nell and new friend Charlie, Eliza sets off to rescue her father. They seek help from the Triumvirate, an uneasy alliance of ultimate power – the Oracle, the King of the Faeries, and Swarn, the witch who delivered Eliza as a baby. They try to stop her, but she is determined. She knows she’s connected to the Xia Sorceress somehow. What awaits Eliza in the Arctic is more horrible than she could have imagined. Abandoned by the Mancers and the Triumvirate, she must rely on her friends and her own wits and common sense to succeed in her quest. Shade and Sorceress is Catherine Egan’s first published novel. Her short fiction has appeared in several publications in the USA and Canada. Catherine currently resides in Princeton, NJ.

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Editorial Review


— VOYA Magazine
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