Desert Isle Keeper
Mine to Take
I was privy to these cryptic words weeks before I received the galleys of this book, but they never carried more meaning than in its conclusion, and perhaps, in my own life. For if Dara Joy’s Rejar (which preceded this story) is the book of anticipation, Mine to Take is the book of revelations.
As I read and listened to Peter Gabriel’s CD Passion, I stared at the hypnotic dual colored eyes of the Familiar, in a room full of shadows and echoes, knowing my will was slowly melting into his as his sultry voice whispered his cry of need. His need. . .of me.
I heard angelic voices in the background begging, lamenting from the experience of this extraordinary power, losing themselves in his sensuality, as he lost himself….. in me. And as I continued reading, trying desperately to detach myself from this story, I realized that whatever power, whatever influence, whatever strength, it first starts…. within me.
“The beginning of all things are small” (Cicero), is the phrase that begins Knight of a Trillion Stars, the first of the Matrix of Destiny series. In that book we were introduced to Lorgin ta’al Krue (son of Krue), a Charl warrior, one of the brothers who is sworn to keep the peace in the Alliance. In KOATS, you quickly sense the esoteric qualities of the characters, and perhaps that there is more than meets the eye. When you read about Rejar, his half-Familiar half-Charl brother, you will be inexorably drawn to the mystical power each man possesses, understanding that it comes from….within.
They are warriors, protectors and lovers, each given a quest by Yaniff, mystic of all mystics. Each is ready to give the best of themselves to do what they must, to do what is right, at any cost. And while they each go in different directions, they walk side by side, always, from one story to the other, separately yet together.
In Mine to Take, you find Gian Ren, the full Familiar, who like Rejar, walks two forms – that of a human and that of a cat. Like Rejar, he is a totally sexual creature, and like all the Brothers of the Line of Krue, he has a quest. He must look for Dariq, a friend who has gone missing in one of the far worlds. But where Rejar is playful and cajoling, Gian Ren is a hunter, steadfast and constantly aware of all of his powers.
As with the heroes in KOATS and Rejar, Gian’s destiny is inevitably entwined with that of a woman who will play a pivotal part in his future. She is not of his world. Despite her wish not to commit herself to him, she gives him purpose and a will to live. He thus takes Jenise, a political prisoner of the Genakari, far beyond the realm of any sexual fantasy; he envelops and immobilizes her with his krinang scent and brings her to climax only by purring into her lips. He is unreserved and systematic about fulfilling his needs and teaching her about her own.
While he worships her entire body completely, at all times, until she can no longer distinguish herself from him, he gives her what counts the most: the choice to save him, to hold his life in her hands, and the power….. to kill him. He binds himself to her forever no matter what this choice will be, because he is a Familiar, ritualistic in his beliefs, sensorial in his actions. He lives and loves not just for her submission but for her surrender, her total surrender. And it is only in the end that you understand why.
He protects her, fights for her, would even die for her if he has to; yet his attitude always remains ambiguous, his omissions subtle, and his words filled with double meaning. And when you start thinking that Jenise is somewhat of a superficial woman who is treating Gian Ren like a prime stud, you realize the story is not really about her nor their intense sexual relationship; it’s about murder and the politics of war, and the systematic attempt by the Genakari people to eradicate the Familiar race.
It’s about the brothers of the Line of Krue; how Lorgin prepares, how Rejar awakens, and how Traed starts forgiving. You continue reading if only to heed Yaniff ‘s prophetic words, smile at the author’s underlying humour and laugh at Adeann’s (Lorgin’s wife) 20th Century light bulb jokes. But most of all you will read about committment and taking responsibility, responsibility for one’s love, for one’s hate, and for one’s people.
You are privy to a world far beyond your time, yet close enough to your heart. You understand how families and nations come together and stand together; how respect binds them close, and hope keeps them alive. You witness how they all prepare and brace themselves for the inevitable confrontation with he who lusts for their power, and understand why this book could not have been about Traed, the other Brother of the Line, yet. . . .
The characters’ consciousness insinuously slips into your own and takes you far beyond any expectations. And while Gian Ren unravels with Jenise the Nine Hundred Strokes of Love, he turns feral in his incarnate state through his traditional journey of discovery and renewal. Jenise becomes his catalyst for rebirth, and the most wondrous thing of all will be revealed: the conscious conception of a child, the greatest miracle, and perhaps, the greatest hope of all.
Thank you Dara for the strength you give your characters, for their enigmatic nature so full of magic, for the purpose you give their actions,and for the subtle meanings you contribute to our lives.