Juno, Oct 2007, $12.95
Death and constant grief are all that Satha has seen in her young life as her impoverished clan the Theseni has suffered severely during the forty year war caused by the superior outsiders. Now she has left her ever weeping despondent mother behind to journey across the land to that of the affluent Doreni clan where she marries Loic, son of the king's First Captain. He has the skill of reading souls and tries to bring some solace to his sorrowful spouse, whom he loves and cherishes.
As she begins to loves her gentle husband; a serpentine betrayal from a trusted friend occurs. Loic knows he must avenge their honor, but his love for Satha has turned to loathing for what he believes she caused. While on his quest to regain what he blames Satha for losing, the Arkhai spirits doom him to fail for fear he is the one to bring the Creator back to the country that they control. While he is gone, Satha has no defenders; she is sold into slavery to the abusive religiously right Angleni clan. The Creator is there for this dysfunctional couple struggling with danger and despondency; but each must reach out to the Creator if they are to spiritually heal.
This intense African romantic historical fantasy vividly brings to life the interrelationships between the three tribal clans as well as the effect of the outside forces. Thus the audience receives a complex tale of broken love and potential redemption in which the backdrop is a war torn land and on a metaphysical plane the spirits interfere with the lead couple while the Creator encourages them to find paradise lost. Carole Mcdonnell writes a powerful character driven (not just by humans) epic parable, which depending on what the pair separately do could turn into a great Greek (albeit African) tragedy or a second coming.