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23 April, 2011

Book Review: Son of Darkness by Josepha Shermaan

Curator Denise Sheridan loves her job. She works as head of the Mesopotamian Art and Archeology department of the American Museum of Art, in New York City. Denise Sheridan tries to find ways to showcase the artifacts found from the cradle of civilization and an era of the birth of mankind in a way that honors the civilizations the artifacts have come from. But not everyone agrees with the way she does her job. Her boss wants flashier more dramatic exhibits that will pull in more visitors. She has also been receiving threatening letters from a group called the “Children of Summer”. Unknown to her, the leader of this group has started following her around with fanatical intentions towards her.
Ilarion Highborn is more than he seems. The owner of the Highborn Gallery, he sells ancient and modern day artworks to collectors in the city. However, the man’s impeccable senses of dress including sunglasses at all times hide the fact that he is not human. He is a self exiled noble from the dark side of Fairy. He has abandoned the rule he was born to take having become disgusted with the excessive cruelty performed daily by his people. He has made himself a home here in this dimension, despite the crippling effects on him by sunlight, and the iron used to construct much of the city. He has just been visited by a being from his own dimension. He suspects that this will bring his enemy Kerezar to this dimension in confrontation.
Ilarion is correct, Kerezar crosses into this dimension, allying himself with the ancient demon Lamashtu. Freeing her to walk the city, this ancient demon of plague finds herself in a world full of promise. She is urged to kill Denise Sheridan by the leader of the Children of Summer whose body she inhabits. Denise and Ilarion find themselves thrown together to fight not one, but two evils trying to take control of the city. With Denise’s knowledge of ancient Mesopotamian lore, and Ilarion’s knowledge of magic can they save the city and the world from evil overtaking everything they know and find pleasurable in life?
This is an older fantasy book. Published in 1998, it was written by author Josepha Sherman, national bestselling author known for the book Vulcan’s Forge. It is also a book that I had never stumbled across as a teenager who haunted the library looking for more fantasy books every weekly visit. I was given this book in a batch of books to pass along by a fellow bookcrosser who knows I enjoy wild releasing books into the world, who needed to clear books from her own bookshelves. I was immediately grabbed by the cover art of the book. The two figures dressed in corporate looking suits towered over by a winged lion grabbed my interest. I found a story that pulled me into its plot. It was a little pulpy feeling in parts, but it had a really nice mix of magic and technology. I especially liked the version of New York City that the book was set in. It was nice to be able to imagine the settings as I had seen a few of the places mentioned on my own visit to New York City and I enjoyed placing the fictional museum and gallery into the surroundings I had enjoyed on my visit. This is definately an author whose other works I plan on tracking down to read in the near future.

First line: The shabby little man in the worn brown suit paused nervously on the corner of Madison Avenue and Seventy-Eigth street, glancing about him in the early morning sunlight.

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