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Late last year, while scrolling down my Facebook feed, my attention was caught by this image:

Orpheus and his Muse II

The post appeared in my feed via a mutual friend, Dario Ciriello, of Panverse Publishing. I was enchanted, and said so. In a nutshell, this is how I “met” Joanna Fay, who lives in the hills outside Perth, Western Australia: my homeland, but more than half a world away from my current anchorage in the Caribbean.

Joanna has since published her first novel, “Daughter of Hope, Book One of the Siaris Quartet”, and I was one of the first to head over to Musa Publishing’s site to buy my own copy.

I was not disappointed. Artistically, “Daughter” is everything I expected to see from someone as visually refined as Jo: her writing is generous and ethereal in imaginative detail.

Set on the world of Siaris, this is the story of Revetia, a hybrid child–half-Elden and half-Guardian–and just one of a handful of offspring of Xereth,  once a Guardian, now a servant to the dark Gods of Siaris, the Morraeth.

The Guardians are winged humanoids created in a play of celestial power: the  eternal battle of good and evil.  Godlike in their power and attributes, the Guardians are also imminently corruptible–telepathic, beautiful, eternal (unless they meet a bloody end) and riven by jealousy, passion and familial rivalry.

Spurned by his lover, Xereth turned to the Dark Side many ages ago. As well-used as this trope might be, it still quickly defines the battle lines. After untold years of vicious territorial disputes, in a shrouded mountain citadel forged of iron, defended by dark magic and buffeted by blizzards, Revetia is born and nurtured by an Elden slave. It is from her nurse that she learns compassion…and the circumstances of her existence. But Revetia is gifted with an inner light that even Xereth’s sadistic cruelties fail to extinguish, and through the telepathy of her father’s people, she makes contact with the distant Guardians, her Aerian family. Hopelessly naive, outgunned and manipulated, Revetia nevertheless becomes the catalyst for a rescue attempt .

Her birth brought death; her dreams, hope.

Daughter of Hope is ultimately the story of a riven family coming to terms with itself. The story of Revetia’s childhood, the conflicts between the various Guardian families, her desperation to escape her father and his evil masters, and the hoped-for redemption of her conflicted and damaged siblings, is unrepentant in its high fantasy legacy. If you enjoy tales of complexity and detail in worlds that lie somewhere alongside our own in the Universal Dreaming, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy Daughter of Hope.

If you’d like to read more, there is an excellent post by Dario Ciriello that includes an interview with Joanna Fay on the origins of “Daughter” here.

Daughter of Hope is available in digital format from Musa Publishing and Amazon.

Publication Date:  June 2012

Publisher:  Musa Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-61937-224-5

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