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Flesh and Spirit


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About the Author

Though Colorado is home, Carol Berg's roots are in Texas, in a family of teachers, musicians, and railroad men. She has degrees in mathematics from Rice University and computer science from the University of Colorado, but managed to squeeze in minors in English and art history along the way. She has combined a career as a software engineer with her writing, while also raising three sons. She lives with her husband at the foot of the Colorado mountains.


The wayward son of a prominent family of cartographers and diviners, Valen seeks to avoid his family's plans for him only to run up against a near disaster from which he emerged with a stolen book of maps. Seeking sanctuary in a monastery, Valen soon discovers his book allows him to visit strange places. He discovers hints of a coming dark age and sets out to prevent it, even if doing so forces him to confront himself. The author of the "Bridge of d'Arnath" and "Rai-Kirah" series now begins a two-volume saga featuring a young hero too busy being bad to realize his true capacity for goodness. A good addition to most fantasy collections. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

At the start of this chilling fantasy from Berg (Daughter of Ancients), the first of a pair set in the land of Navronne, her rebellious hero, 27-year-old Valen, has been hiding from his pureblood family of sorcerers for 12 years. Valen, who's also struggling with a kind of drug addiction called "doulon sickness," possesses his grandfather's magical book, Maps of the Known World ("Legend said it could lead men to the realm of angels"). The book is Valen's passport to sanctuary with the learned monks of Gillarine Abbey, who believe he can unlock its magic. After his family discovers him, Valen becomes resolved to learn the book's power. At stake is not only the protection of an innocent boy sheltered at the abbey from greedy princes vying for control of their dead father's kingdom but also the entire world's salvation. Like much fantasy marketed as "adult" today, this well-written novel is suitable for readers as young as middle-schoolers, though some preteens may find it a bit too dark and slow for their tastes. (May) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"Chilling...well-written." Publishers Weekly "Terrific." -- Midwest Book Review

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