Book Review | #whoaretheclan | “Reap the Wild Wind” and “Brothers Bound” by Julie E. Czerneda Jorie reads #TheClanChronicles for #RRSciFiMonth!

Posted Sunday, 8 November, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , , , 4 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I was chosen to participate in Julie E. Czerneda’s #timeandstarstour on behalf of the seventh volume of The Clan Chronicles ‘This Gulf of Time and Stars’. Ahead of reading that installment, I reached out to the author to sort out a way to read her entire series spilt between two trilogies: a prequel and the inaugural trilogy which launched the series as a whole. She offered to have DAW Books send me the series in paperback editions to help me sort out the hours I would need to read them as I could only use inter-library loan which has a built-in delay from receiving books via your local library.

Thus a book parcel from her publicist at DAW arrived forthwith and gave me the two trilogies ahead of ‘This Gulf of Time and Stars’. I received a complimentary copy of the 10th Anniversary Edition of ‘A Thousand Words for Stranger’ which includes the novella “Brothers Bound” and a complimentary copy of ‘Reap the Wild Wind’ which starts the prequel trilogy better known as Stratification. I was not obliged to post a review or share my impressions or opinions on behalf of these stories. I am posting my thoughts for my own edification and to help encourage new readers to meet the characters Czerneda created especially if like me, they are discovering The Clan Chronicles for the first time!

My interest in reading The Clan Chronicles:

When my path originally crossed with Ms Czerneda I wasn’t quite sure which of her series (of science fiction or fantasy) I wanted to read first as she has such a wonderfully diverse collection of stories I could choose amongst. I decided to ask Ms Czerneda last November what her Top 5 selections would be for a new reader of her collective works, to which she responded by saying: A Thousand Words for Stranger; Beholder’s Eye; In the Company of Others; Species Imperative; and A Turn of the Light.

From these selections, I was quite overjoyed in finding my local library held within it’s ILL (inter-library loan) database A Turn of Light – of which I must have requested at least four times over the past year, and each month it arrived, I was unfortunately unable to read it. Survival the first novel of Species Imperative was found quite accidentally at a local thrift store where I picked up the hardback edition. It’s gently read and will happily be read during this year’s Sci Fi Experience – the sci-fi event which follows Sci Fi November! As for A Turn of Light I want to focus on Fantasy after my science fiction readings, and thereby tentatively plan to read it in February.

I hadn’t known the title of the novel I would reviewing for Ms Czerneda for her upcoming November blog tour until mid-September 2015 when we both reconnected with each other to knit my participation together. I had originally focused on her fantasy writings as I have come to realise how much I love the world-building in fantasy the past few years. I used to read quite a heap of sci-fi and fantasy more than two decades ago, but hadn’t picked up a renewal of interest until two years ago when I discovered Jackie Gamber’s Leland Dragon series.

Fearing I might not have time enough to read the first six books of The Clan Chronicles ahead of my tour stop on the 11th of November, I asked which books I should attempt to ILL from my library ahead of reading the seventh in the series. Ms Czerneda offered to have the books sent to me giving me the chance to read them at my leisure and not worry about the time delays seeking them through inter-library loan services, for which I was quite grateful. When the book parcel arrived from DAW Books, I had the biggest smile on my face you could imagine as I carefully pulled out the six books which set the foundation of The Clan Chronicles.

Leading up to my tour stop on Wednesday, I will be tweeting and blogging my impressions of the six books prior to when we meet This Gulf of Time and Stars. I am looking forward to hearing readers thoughts on behalf of this series if they have already read the trilogies as much as seeking comments from readers who might be watching my readings during #RRSciFiMonth. It’s going to be an adventurous few days here on Jorie Loves A Story!

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Book Review | #whoaretheclan | “Reap the Wild Wind” and “Brothers Bound” by Julie E. Czerneda Jorie reads #TheClanChronicles for #RRSciFiMonth!Reap the Wild Wind
by Julie E. Czerneda
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Luis Royo
Source: Direct from Publisher

Synopsis on the Back Cover:

A Thousand Words for Stranger, the first novel in The Trade Pact Universe trilogy, introduced the Clan, refugees from the world of Cersi who built an empire few people even knew existed.

Reap the Wild Wind turns to an earlier period in the Clan's history, before they left Cersi. At this time they are known as the Om'ray, and are divided into widely scattered tribal Clans, each of which must remain in its own allotted portion of Cersi, constrained from advancing beyond a certain point by two powerful races - Oud and the Tikitik - that have technological and scientific advantages over them. The three races coexist based on three individual principes: 1) the world has always been divided this way and must remain so; 2) Passage - a once in a lifetime event when individual Om'ray are permitted to cross all territorial boundaries in search of a mate - must be honored by all; 3) nothing on Cersi can be allowed to change.

Reap the Wild Wind opens at a pivotal moment where beings from the Trade Post have begun to explore Cersi, upsetting the balance between the three races. It is a time, too, when young Aryl Sarc of the Yena Clan is on the verse of mastering the forbidden secret of the M'hir - a secret that could prove the salvation or ruin of her entire species...

Genres: Science Fiction

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780756404567

Also by this author: Riders of the Storm, Rift in the Sky, A Thousand Words for Stranger, Ties of Power, To Trade the Stars, This Gulf of Time and Stars, Julie E. Czerneda Interview (#futurespasttour), The Gate to Futures Past, Guest Post (Web Shifters series) by Julie E. Czerneda, Guest Post: Julie E. Czerneda (Clan Chronicles Finale Tour), To Guard Against the Dark

Published by DAW Books

on 4th September 2007

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 464

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

 Published By: DAW Books (@DAWBooks)
an imprint of Penguin Group USA

The Clan Chronicles:

  • Reap the Wild Wind (Stratification trilogy, No.1)
  • Riders of the Storm (Stratification trilogy, No.2)
  • Rift in the Sky (Stratification trilogy, No.3)
  • A Thousand Words for Stranger (Trade Pact Universe, No.1)
  • Ties of Power (Trade Pact Universe, No.2)
  • To Trade the Stars (Trade Pact Universe, No.3)
  • This Gulf of Time and Stars (Reunification, No.1)

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

About Julie E. Czerneda

Julie E. Czerneda Photo Credit: Roger Czerneda Photography

Since 1997, Canadian author/editor Julie E. Czerneda has shared her love and curiosity about living things through her science fiction, writing about shapechanging semi-immortals, terraformed worlds, salmon researchers, and the perils of power. Her fourteenth novel from DAW Books was her debut fantasy, A Turn of Light, winner of the 2014 Aurora Award for Best English Novel, and now Book One of her Night`s Edge series.

She began her first fantasy series: Night’s Edge with A Turn of Light, winner of the 2014 Aurora Award for Best English Novel. A Play of Shadow followed, winning the 2015 Aurora. While there’ll be more fantasy, Julie’s back in science fiction to complete her Clan Chronicles series. Reunification #1: This Gulf of Time and Stars, came out in 2015. #2: The Gate to Futures Past released September, 2016. Volume #3: To Guard Against the Dark, follows October 2017.

An award-winning editor as well, Julie’s edited/co-edited sixteen anthologies of SF/F, including the Aurora winning Space Inc. and Under Cover of Darkness. Her most recent anthology is the 2017 Nebula Award Showcase, published May 2017, a singular honour.

Next out will be an anthology of original stories set in her Clan Chronicles series: Tales from Plexis, out in 2018. When not jumping between wonderful blogs, Julie’s at work on something very special: her highly anticipated new Esen novel, Search Image (Fall 2018).

Biography updated November 2017
Photo Credit: Roger Czerneda Photography

My Review of Brothers Bound:

Originally I hadn’t fully grasped how to read The Clan Chronicles, and I was thankful to the author to help me work out the appropriate order for a first-time reader! She suggested I begin with this novella ahead of reading ‘Reap the Wild Wind’ as it is a precursor to that story.

It’s an interesting premise, where you are attached through a biometric interface to a dog and presumably the dog can also ascertain your thoughts and feelings as much as you can his through this device. Vasi isn’t openly gracious in being chosen for this task, as he’s still a bit uncertain how he feels about dogs and the tethered existence he has with said dog; he’s forever complaining a bit about how tied down he feels whilst put in a position of guardian and protector at the same time.

This interface is a method of trying to gain closer access to resolving a mystery that no one else has had a chance to make head-way against. Teams of three different originating species are placed in ‘triads’ to form the best plan of attack in regards to where they should search next as they are attempting to finally put a measure of understanding on the unknown. Their mission is full of hazards, the least of which is scaling a mountain at the peak of winter when the snow pack is at it’s deadliest load. I had a sense there was going to be an avalanche even before the snow shifted it’s weight and encased the triad under it’s buckling of ice and snow.

This short story is a lesson in understanding differences and for finding a commonality of acceptance and tolerance for each other through a unique set of means set to give advantage to those seeking what is not yet found. The advantage in this case was the uniqueness of Vasi’s direct communication with the dog and how both dog and he were able to communicate their feelings. Vasi is of a race where this communication is limited to those outside his species; yet with the biometric interface he felt as though the dog understood him on equal terms. This experience led Vasi to seek out the humans who had perfected the interface as a method of continuing to align himself with someone who might accept him as he is instead of trying to work with someone they do not understand.

One of the best moments is towards the end where Vasi and the humans learn an important gift is being open to the possibilities of connection without prejudice and disregard for what is not yet understood. Differences do not have to be a reason not to get along with each other but sometimes, it’s helpful that those who work together come from different backgrounds in order to gain the most return.

My Review of Reap the Wild Wind:

Aryl is not one to stand in wait for her life to happen – she takes the reins of her life and puts herself in situations where she feels she’s best fit to become involved in. This is how we meet her in Reap the Wild Wind as a head-strong girl who refuses to accept she’s been dismissed from an important coming-of age moment of her life. In her Clan, it’s important to know if your Chosen or if you’ve been accepted for a particular task – the same task that takes you high above your residence, up into the upper threshold of wind – the controlling movement of the harvest by which your able to thrive.

This is a planet that is shrouded in a bit of secrecy because none of the individual Clans are allowed to know much about the others; except for in Aryl’s case, as she’s been gifted a bit of talent to know who is whom without sight to verify her instincts. Her race can also communicate through telepathy which they refer to as ‘mindspeak’; as evident by her communications with her brother as they sneak to climb before the largest wind storm arrives over their homeland. This is foretold in the Prelude, and it’s the type of wind that reminds me of the Santa Ana winds of California* – the type of nature’s fury you do not want to be on the wrong side of due to how strong they can appease their own whims and forsake your own.

*read info on Wikipedia

Cersi has an interesting balance – not only between the Clans but of how they are able to live on a planet whose resources are limited regionally. There is a devastating accident during the annual Harvest where the Om’ray tribe of Yena find the hard truth of what happens when you run into a shortage of food; as they use their food to trade for necessary items from their neighbour: the intimidating Tikitik. The Tikitik are one of two powerful overseeing races on this planet; the other being the Oud, of whom are a bit hidden from view for most of the story. There are intervals of revelation about Enris as his path is inter-connected (or so it would appear) to Aryl. He is the brother of the stranger who came to Yena to take a bride and instead died broken-hearted; only Enris knows of this truth, as he has a gift similar to Aryl. The two of them are gifted in ways that would surprise their kin and perhaps re-shape the destiny of their tribes.

Aryl’s life is growing more difficult because she’s become aware of a power deep within her being that has not been seen or felt for many generations. Even her mother is a bit afeared of what this talent of hers could mean to the tribe; as the tribe has a Council that oversees what is allowed to be kept known amongst her people. They live without the benefit of open knowledge, as life is set to a certain standard of repetitive traditions and choices wherein nothing outside the ordinary is meant to happen. This changed the day of the Harvest – not only for the sudden loss of Yena, but for the mysterious entity that was spotted during the fierceness of the winds.

This is why the cover art for ‘Reap the Wild Wind’ is clarifying in what was seen during the Harvest and what was at risk for Aryl and her people. It clearly shows how her kinsmen were trying to catch the ‘harvest’ and how they were interrupted by first the giant birds of prey and then the mysterious flying object that emitted the destructive force that took so many lives.

Yena is caught in desperation to survive and yet another tribe Tuana is facing their own unique circumstances; where the Oud are seeking out skilled workers with the knowledge of metals. Yena is broaching the choice between staying where they have lived for generations and striking out someplace new, unknown to them now with the attempt to allow some of their kin to survive. They cannot find a way to repair the damages to their food shortages nor can they predict if the next Harvest would prove to be any better than this last one. It’s a hard choice to determine what is the right avenue for their people to accept.

In the midst of this, Aryl is growing up realising everything she felt might be true about her world is not quite as it appears now. She is finding how truth has a way of staying hidden and even at the best of times, she was not clued into the harder lessons of her people until the balance was altered by tragedy. She’s starting to weigh the advantage and disadvantages to the talents her people possess as much as understand the greater response in keeping a handle on such talents.

Aryl is granted an audience with their supposed nemesis and neighbour the Tikitik who are surprisingly a caring race who take care of their own quite well. It was most impressive how they tucked Aryl into a special shelter they normally reserve for women withchild. They took careful attention to make sure her needs were filled and tried to expand her mind to accept knowledge her kin hadn’t felt were warranted to tell her. The interesting bits is how much the Tikitik wanted Aryl to learn and know before they let her go back home. She was taken by force but treated with respect; something that took me by surprise as previously to this encounter I wouldn’t have thought they would give so much of themselves to a girl they viewed as being from a less sophisticated Clan.

Oh! Now I understand why it was necessary to read ‘Brothers Bound’ first! It sets up the scope to understand who the first responders are who are seeking to understand new worlds! The same triad teams from the short story are a part of ‘Reap the Wild Wind’; although, with different partnerships and characters; the concept is the same and so are the results! Someone set a triad team to scout out Cersi and understand the inhabitants who lived there.

My first introduction into primitive worlds within science fiction truly took me by surprise, as I found myself caught inside the emotional angst of how Aryl had to choose between her Clan and what was right for everyone involved. She was pitted against hard choices and she made them when no one else would assert she was in the right to choose the path which was hardest to admit was best for their survival. It is an interesting story about how a girl who was left ‘unchosen’ by those in her Clan ended up being specifically viable to affect change on her world. She was given inside information in regards to how her world was far more expansive than any Om’ray would sense whilst having to swallow the fact, she (and her Clan) were left in the dark about how old their world truly was in regards to being civilised.

Seeing how her tribe clashed with fellow Clans, without the benefit of accepting the changes which were effectively erasing their status quo – it’s young Aryl who is the champion of Cersi. She’s the daring young leader who never asked for the role and has become such a dearly beloved character of mine as she’s determined to set her path by her own accord. Strengthened by a force she has yet to understand, this is only the first chapter of where Aryl daringly sets out in search for where she belongs.

Understanding Cersi by region:

Similar to the scope of Gamber’s Leland Dragon series and Elliott’s Crown of Stars Saga, Czerneda has created a world where different regions are experiencing different kinds of trade, commerce and life on a world that is altogether foreign yet known as soon as you tuck inside this novel. I appreciate getting a hearty glimpse of Cersi by accepting the boundaries of each region, not merely separated by tribe of the Clan, but how climate, atmosphere and topography play a strong role in where each tribe resides.

Aryl introduced me to the aerial living quarters of the Yena, but it’s her unsuspecting travelling companion Enris who showed me the underground network of tunnels populated by the Oud; those curious sorts who along with the Tikitik rule Cersi together. Except to say, there isn’t a lot of communication between the Clans and the tribes themselves; this points back to a more primitive world where long distances are never short, and where communication per region does not exist. Not even in a small scale of probability due to dangers that lurk between each Clan’s stronghold.

The mountains are looming giants at a great distance, but they also serve as a keepaway spot for safety during the worst of the wind storms – where some of chosen send the alert of when the winds will be at their strongest and deadliest. They have their own network of security and safety protocols but anything outside their understanding as Yena is automatically dismissed. This is one of their downfalls, as they are only open to what is ‘known to them’ rather than what is theoretically known to the universe. Yena are trapped in the past, moving forward only on the tradition of trade and unwilling to accept there is a new era dawning where past traditions no longer have a place.

There are other far reaching places on Cersi from the Yena, as Aryl is quick to point out in which direction you can find which Clan; each outlying tribe has their own topography, as the Grona and the Tuana have a harsher clime where Winter overtakes Summer. It was interesting watching how Aryl would handle the change in climate as acclimation takes time. Aside from these changes as we move through Cersi were the addition of humans on this remote planet (as far as the Yena are concerned, as they do not realise their position in the universe as a whole) who are seeking answers to questions only search teams can hope to find evidence of being present. The humans bring their own wenches to the wheel, further eroding away the life on Cersi by implanting their own agendas and interfering with the Clans in a way I am not certain they understand to be destructive.

Although if anyone saw that one particular episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where the crew landed on a planet being ‘observed’ by the Federation but never ‘interfering’ with the passage of life on the planet until such a time where the lines are blurred towards that end knows the truer reason there was a need for a ‘Prime Directive’ in Roddenberry’s universe. Sometimes even those who come in peace and seek understanding can cause a ripple effect that creates a worse scenario than observational awareness of others.

I look forward to seeing where Czerneda is taking us next in Riders of the Storm as I continue my readings and showcases leading up to my impressions on behalf of This Gulf of Time and Stars. I find this work is dimensionally inspiring as seeing Cersi as I read the chapters expands lateron as I run through the passages by memory; seeing Cersi re-appearing in my mind as I make my path through this prequel trilogy.

My thoughts on how The Clan Chronicles back-story sets the reader directly inside this mysterious world:

I had not found a connection to who Sira di Sarc was within the framework of the series until I read the passages within Reap the Wild Wind wherein the heritage of Aryl was starting to be knit together for the reader. I could only presume then, Sira is related to Aryl or rather, Sira is a descendant of Aryl to be more specific.

It took me a bit to soak inside this world, as I admit, I haven’t read science fiction in quite a long time, especially science fiction that is built on this scale. What I appreciated about Czerneda’s style, is how through her world-building she has developed a compassionate voice in narrative to encourage you to care about her characters; even if you feel a bit lost in the shuffle at first. She has such a clear vision of Cersi and of the Clans, you simply have to resolve that it will take several chapters to gather your bearings of how their world is set before you. At one point I had forgotten I was struggling to find my way with the story, as Aryl became such a strong character for me to rally behind. She’s such an interesting character because she is half in denial of what she is capable of and partially is willing to attempt to remain behind to make amends for what she feels is her greatest trial.

Czerneda has taken us on a journey towards understanding the Clan from the inside-out, as a method of finding an approach that will give us more insight into how they established their communities. As the Yena live mostly between sky and land, I remembered how during my viewing of Avatar most of the community within that story lived above ground too. I appreciate writers who have such a clear vision for their worlds, that even if your a new reader of theirs, it only takes a few readings to dip inside that vision and reside with their characters.

I appreciated the breadth of how we were so intimately aware of Aryl’s struggle to find balance – between her duties as a Yena and her instincts as a gifted Om’ray. Her mother was not as strong as she is to accept the changes amongst their kind nor to admit her daughter was reaching towards a new future which might leave the old traditions behind them. It’s a struggle of acceptance and for walking that fine line between knowledge and hiding in plain sight from those who cannot handle the truth you’ve uncovered.

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This book review is courtesy of:

Julie E. Czerneda and DAW Books

which I am happily posting during:

Sci Fi November 2015 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Sci-Fi Month 2015 is a month long event to celebrate science fiction hosted by Rinn Reads and Over the Effing Rainbow. You can view the schedule here, follow the event on Twitter via the official @SciFiMonth Twitter account, or the hashtag #RRSciFiMonth.

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Reader Interactive Question:

Have you read The Clan Chronicles, previously known as the Trade Pact Universe series? Which book did you start reading to soak inside this continuing serial by Czerneda? Did you enter through the prequel like I had or did you pick up ‘A Thousand Words for Stranger’ originally? What staid with you the most whilst you read the series as a whole?

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{SOURCES: Permission to use the book summary for this novel off the back cover was given to me by Ms Czerneda’s publicist who also sent me the book cover for “Reap the Wild Wind”; all of which is being used with permission of DAW Books. The author photograph of Julie E. Czerneda and author’s biography were sent to me by the author and used with permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded due to the codes provided by Twitter. Sci Fi November badge created by Jorie in Canva. Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Sunday, 8 November, 2015 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Cover | Original Illustration & Design, Book Review (non-blog tour), Canadian Literature, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Equality In Literature, Hard Science Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Library Catalogues & Databases, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Sci-Fi November, Science Fantasy, Science Fiction, Space Opera

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4 responses to “Book Review | #whoaretheclan | “Reap the Wild Wind” and “Brothers Bound” by Julie E. Czerneda Jorie reads #TheClanChronicles for #RRSciFiMonth!

    • Hallo, Hallo dear friend!

      Yes! You definitely should! :) The cover art is exponentially impressive if you find the wider scope of where Royo took his artwork! I found this expanded vision for Reap the Wild Wind’s Cover Art which completely took me by surprise in comparison to my original thoughts towards what the scene was trying to tell me about the Yena! It was awe-inspiring to tell the truth! Being a lover of ‘creatures’ there is a well of lovelies and deadlies inside the Clan Chronicles! I’ll be talking about them as I continue my ruminations throughout my seven showcases this week; you’d find plenty to be inspired by or drawn into museful thoughts about how they maintain themselves in such a dramatically diverse world.

      Thanks for leaving me your thoughts – drop by again soon!

    • Hallo, Hallo Lianne! :)

      Wait to see the cover art I will be revealing as I continue to post my ruminative thoughts on behalf of the next six volumes of The Clan Chronicles! I am posting throughout the night leading up to my revelations on behalf of the seventh release! A few more shall follow as well, being that I cannot help but share my joy in finding myself rooted to the Clan; Czerneda helps you hug so close to their plight and the drama that is unfolding for them as they seek answers to questions they never knew they needed to ask! It was a welcome challenge for me to dig inside my first primitive sci-fi world and to find the key towards understanding the world-building of the series. It’s very stimulating reading as the layers grow more complex per each installment you read!

      Thanks for stopping by and offering your curiosity! I *love!* the cover designs – the illustrator definitely understood the characters and the heart of this world! He translates very well!

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