Book Review: Journey Through Darkness by Kandake Brockington

Journey through Darkness is sword and soul adventure rooted in the ancient history of Kemet (Egypt), Axum and Ethiopia. It is the story of Joval, a Medjay mercenary commander with a spiritual destiny. The story begins with Joval in exile with the remnants of her people, the Medjay, being sought by Azende. Azende’s people think the Medjay can help them against the Axumites but he is surprised to find that their are few Medjay remaining. From here Kandake takes us back to the events leading to Joval’s current state. We discover her spiritual link to the aspiring Pharoah of Kemet and the darker forces that haunt her life.
Kandake displays her love of Egyptian history in the book. It’s filled with details of the life of this great ancient empire as well as plenty of action scenes to keep the attention of a sword and soul fan like me. There are a lot of plans and plots going on as well a host of characters so pay attention or you might get lost. Like most epics the first part of the book sets the scene. The action gets better and more exciting as the characters begin to interact and their true personalities come to the surface. This is Kandake’s first book and I think it’s a good effort. I’m looking forward to the sequel. If you’re a fan of Egypt and all things Egyptian this is the book for you.

Genesis Excerpts

So Genesis is out and the feedback has been great! For those of you who are still on the fence here’s a little bit from a few stories.

Leviathan by Milton Davis; Poem by Valjeanne Jeffers

Leviathan of flesh and steel

Racing through streets

Soaring comet of technological genius

His fists crush tons of debris to dust

His sight travels miles over the designated horizon

Torn from his life -

crushed

disemboweled by madness

inferno and stone

To be reconstructed by humanoid hands

“And I’d rather be dead…”

He remembers the whisper of a lover’s breath on his cheek

the head he cradled so gently against his shoulder

And he has no tear ducts to give voice to his sorrow

Only the dreams of   his hardwired heart

never forgotten

Imaginings of her soft caress upon his metal brow

©Valjeanne Jeffers-Thompson 2008 All rights reserved

Space Marshal Balogun Babatunde posed before the view shield of Launch Station Five, his rugged brown face creased with a broad smile. Behind him, the United Nations delegation gazed in awe at the
sight beyond the platform that jutted out into the void. Ten sleek vessels
hovered in zero gravity, tethered to the hanger beam by a webworm of massive
titanium cables. From a distance, they resembled normal fighter craft minus the
cockpit. But the delegation knew each ship was the size of Earth’s moon, an
unbelievable example of human ingenuity, effort and desperation.

Balogun turned to his colleagues and his smile grew wider. “Well everyone, what do you think?”

“They’re amazing,” John Raddick replied. A tall, narrow man with a beak nose and straw-blond hair, Raddick served as UN Vice Secretary. He was an American who bought his position with the council and
was easily impressed. The Space Marshall dismissed his comment, focusing on the
one person whose opinion mattered most, the one who could make or break his
project. Her expression was less impressive.

“The mechanics are simple,” Folasade Mbeki commented. “I’m more concerned about the control system.” Folasade Mbeki, the Nigerian Vice Chairman overseeing the Leviathan Project, was a striking woman with
flawless brown skin and intense amber eyes. She would be considered beautiful
if not for her constant frown. She held a Ph.D. in space engineering and was
not easily impressed.

The Haunting of M117 by K. Ceres Wright

“As soon as you’re born, you go through crap. And there’re different categories of crap. There’s general crap, like working and paying bills, puttin’ up with bad bosses, and female crap, like
having men expect you to massage their ego. And I suppose there’s male crap,
but I couldn’t tell you what it was. Maybe needing women to tell you what a
good job you did. Then there’s religious crap. Crap you go through if you’re a
Christian, Jewish, Muslim, shaman even,” !Dana@root said. She crouched on one
knee behind a bush, one eye closed, one eye viewing a copse of trees through
the sight of a crossbow.

“Shaman crap. I know that,” Krell said.

“Crap we have, D-Root, but you have to admit, we haven’t had to pay bills in a long time,” Mo-B said.

“Don’t be fooled. The government is taking taxes out of our so-called hazard pay as we speak,” 3Victoria said. “To pay for President Alkar’s war with the Ghivites.

“And they underestimated the hazard, if you ask me,” !Dana@root said. “Gotcha.”  She released the bolt. It hissed in the air and hit the target, who had just
emerged from the copse. Blood rivuleted from his left flank and he wailed an
unholy howling, which diminuendoed to whimpering.

“He’s down!” D-root said.

“Looks like your boyfriend was right,” Krell said, taking off, running toward the fallen prey.

“He’s not my boyfriend!” D-root said, yelling after Krell.

The four women reached the site and dragged the prey back to the clearing. This one had been a
3-faster. Mo-B held down the boy, Sol, and wound a speckev rope around him.

The Shrine by Ronald T. Jones

The night-black lamellar armor was not much darker than its wearer, whose features looked chiseled from an obsidian block. Beneath Commander Garrick Lokk’s cool gaze burned the fire of purpose. His
heart thumped anticipation, even as his mind analyzed the coming host with a
surgeon’s focus. Thirty thousand Warriors of the Blood, all members of a
self-styled master race called the Utills, thundered across a grass-covered
expanse. The host’s deadly panoply of weapons gleamed so brightly, it was as if
the very sun was coerced into granting its reflection to the riders who wielded
them.

The Warriors rode huge, lumbering beasts called lizartines. The sight of charging Warriors astride these fanged monstrosities was enough to induce fear in the most stalwart of foes…unless
that foe was Lokk.

Lokk’s men, whose numbers were barely half that of the enemy, stood as an immobile break against a flood. Some of those men, perhaps most, may have felt flutterings of fear, but training and
discipline kept them frozen in formation. Motivation fueled their desire to
finish what Lokk started.

“The flower of the Priest-Lord’s might,” Konnerly, Lokk’s second-in-command said, observing the enemy.

Like Lokk, Konnerly was tall, but lacked his superior’s solidly muscled bulk.

Dubair, the chronicler, muttered an oath and made a stirring gesture with his finger, a sign of the Divine Circle.
Half-starved as the chronicler looked, he appeared on the verge of disappearing
within the dark recess of the cowl covering his head.

DRUM SONG: MOURNING AND CELEBRATION by Charles R. Saunders

When the amaNdukhanya impi finally brought the amaMatile captives and cattle—along with the four amaZungu, the New People—to their home territory, the outlanders could not have been faulted if
they believed they were entering a country of ghosts. Long before they came
within sight of the amaNdukhanyas’ dwellings, they could hear a sustained,
ululating wail that reverberated through the hills that surrounded them. That
doleful sound contrasted sharply with the beauty of the amaThaba country.

The hills rolled like green waves in all directions, and the path the procession followed took them up gentle slopes and down shallow valleys, through which clear streams flowed. Colorful wildflowers
and small copses of trees festooned the hills like multicolored tiaras.
However, as the procession moved deeper into the lands the amaNdukhanya
claimed, the castaways soon realized that the main feature of the hills was the
kraal.

The amaNdukhanya lived in family compounds of beehive-shaped huts that the newcomers had already learned were called indlus. Conical granaries stored the harvest from fields of millet and sorghum,
and pens fenced by thornbushes held the herds of lean, long-horned cattle that
were the pride and wealth of the amaNdukhanya, as with all other amaThaba
tribes.

Now the people of Ndukhanya swarmed the hillsides. The warriors who had not been part of the impi that had gone on the raid against the amaMatile were
outnumbered by the women, children, and elders of the tribe. All were
participating in a welcome that seemed more sad than joyous.

SO FAR by Carole McDonnell

In the mind of the universe, the events in this story occurred thousands of years ago. Even so, all the events have yet to happen because you are the chief player, and although you are free to do what
you will, your actions are already foretold. Yes, I am speaking to you.

One day, as you–Destiny knows your name, therefore I will not speak it–walk through a marketplace (I will not tell you which), you will begin singing The
Song of the Yellow River. You will sing this
because you will have just completed a cruel deed and your mind and your body
will need rest and The Song of The Yellow River has always soothed your mind
ever since childhood.

The song will not be powerful enough to soothe your mind, however, because the crime you will have committed will be so great that your conscience will not be
able to endure the memory of it. To further hide your mind from yourself, you
will search among the vendors of the marketplace, looking for sweet, fermented,
and spicy dainties, anything to excite your flesh and numb your soul.

Your feet will take you toward a vendor, a white-haired old man in a faded green cloak. His trembling hands will be lovingly-but-firmly grasped by his plump,
gray-haired wife. In spite of the guilt and remorse nipping at your heels, a
smile will flash across your face and you will think, “What a loving, faithful
old couple.” Then you will bend low near the reed mats in the vendor’s barrel
and spy an ancient yellowed parchment. You will ask what the parchment is.

He will lift the crumbling scroll toward you and tell you that it is a puzzle-tale, one well-known in the annals of your country’s literature.

If you enjoyed these excerpts you’ll really enjoy this book. Get one while you can. You won’t be disappointed.