Discover the tale of an intrepid immortal, his deadly shock troops and brothers-in-arms, power hungry mages, a malevolent witch and all manner of Hell spawned evil. This is “Beyond Sanctuary” by Janet Morris, a classic tale of good versus evil, interspersed with the many shades of gray that lie between the two.
This is a story of epic proportions; mages being exterminated to satisfy the near insatiable needs of the beautiful Cime, the ancient warrior Tempus doing battle with gods and demons and a danger filled journey to engage a formidable enemy and avenge the deaths of members of his beloved Sacred Band.
Morris’ exceptional skill becomes readily apparent as she fleshes out characters whose complex emotions and idiosyncrasies establish a real connection and draw you into their lives. I was especially taken by Nikodemos and the many trials he faces throughout the book. He is such a wonderfully deep and troubled warrior that I couldn’t help but root for him. Niko epitomizes what it is to be strong in both body and spirit. He takes each loss that he suffers as a failure on his part, even when it was well outside of his control. Niko struggles with these losses and begins to doubt his worth. But rather than surrender to despair he pushes himself to reclaim the balance that he has lost with his brothers and within himself. Such is his strength that he earns the respect of the Riddler, the love of one of their greatest foes and draws the attention of the Lord of Dreams himself.
Beyond Sanctuary is not a fairy tale of knights standing about in unmarred, shining armor singing songs of their undying love to silk clad princesses. This is about true warriors who fight and kill the enemy, then celebrate with well earned drink and carnal festivities. Morris’ work is filled with pitched battles, excitement and intrigue. It is a land of warring factions, wielders of dark magic, formidable fighters and capricious gods. I have travelled Beyond Sanctuary and truly enjoyed the journey.