by K W Austin
A fantasy that will stay with me after the storylines of other novels are forgotten.
The journey begins in London when a young woman drives home from work at night, crashes her car, and wakes up in another dimension or time (it is explained further on) minus her memory.
In this much-changed world, known as K’yra, she discovers two groups of inhabitants.
Skeraans are human though there are superficial differences between them and Kiya, as the girl becomes known there. Skeraans live in villages relatable to past tribal hunter-gatherer societies of Earth – low on technology, high on superstition.
Kehans are huge bearcats that can talk, their highly-developed intelligence allowing them to understand philosophy and science, but it is theoretical learning as their paws don’t allow practical application of their knowledge.
Skeraans and Kehans are enemies. However, there is a more dreaded foe and threat that they share.
The central theme is can Kiya, the ex-Londoner, bring the two together, and is this the reason she has been transported to this alien existence?
The dislocation of the two worlds and Kiya’s initial loss of memory of the former complicate the telling of the story. Not all traps are avoided and in places more explanation would help fill gaps, but the intrigue of the overall scenario persuades one to skim over problem areas and concentrate on the action.
The age of the main character suggests the book is intended mainly for a YA readership but it should have appeal to some older fans of fantasy also. The prose is easy to read.
Visually it’s an attractive book, with clear print on good quality paper, though skimpy gutters make it more suited for sitting up rather than in-bed reading.
The story is complete in that there is resolution, but at the end it is clear that a follow-up is intended.
Author: K W Austin
Publisher: Fraser Books