Read on for reviews of The Ancient Future: The Dark Age, An Echo in Time: Atlantis, and Masters of Reality: The Gathering.
The Ancient Future: The Dark Age (An Ancient Future - Book One)
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
This is the first book by Traci Harding I have read, and I have to say, I have a new favourite. Harding's writing is very entertaining, with just enough humour, romance and emotion to keep you hooked.
The Dark Age is the story of Tory Alexander, a young Sydney woman whose parents are absent more than not. Her father is a renowned historian, specialising in ancient English history, dating back to the Druids, Saxons and English peoples of the 6th Century. Her mother is a famous classical musician who travels the world as well. On a trip to England, Tory makes an unplanned visit to the famous King's Men historical site, similar to Stone Henge, where her hire car has broken down. It is the Summer Soltice, a magical time, and Tory falls asleep near the monument. When she wakes, she has suddenly been transported back to the 6th Century, where she embarks on a life-long adventure, where her skills in the martial art of Tae-kwon Do and her modern attitudes make her an instant favourite amongst royalty and the people in general. However, there are hard times ahead, as she becomes High Queen and leads her people through a war with feuding kingdoms and the invading Saxons.
This adventure contains loads of action, drama, magic and politics, with a healthy dose of humour and romance. Any fan of fantasy and historical fiction will absolutely love this book, and indeed, the series (this is book 1 of 3).
An Echo in Time: Atlantis (An Ancient Future - Book Two)
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars
I read some reviews about this book before reading it immediately after Book 1. Some of those reviews were not very glowing. Normally, I disregard these until I've read the book myself, as is the right way, and I don't always agree with them. This time, I almost did. However, I still enjoyed this book and have launched into Book 3 already.
In 'An Echo in Time: Atlantis', our hero, Tory Alexander, has made her home and life back in the 6th century, with her husband Maelgwyn, and her son Rhun. 20 years have passed and Maelgwyn has fallen ill to the plague. The only way for Tory to save him is to travel back to where it all began - roughly 12,000 years in the past, to the fabled city of Atlantis. There she finds the most advanced culture and society ever known, where humanity has reached a heightened level of consciousness and has developed the type of technology that would put what we know today to shame. Her quest leads her to find a potion that will save Maelgwyn - an immortality potion. But is she too late to save him, and will the evil witch, Mahaud, foil her at last?
Traci Harding has built the world of Atlantis in such a way that you believe it actually did exist in this form. However, my biggest criticism is the amount of cupid-style match-making Tory is involved in, which seems to be far more than in Book 1. Some of this stuff is OK, but not to this level. The concept of every person pairing with every other person (seemingly) is even more far-fetched than a fantasy novel warrants. But, I enjoyed every other aspect of the story.
Here's hoping that Book 3, 'Masters of Reality: The Gathering', backs off the hooking-up a bit.
Masters of Reality: The Gathering (An Ancient Future - Book Three)
Rating: 3/5 stars
This is book three of the Ancient Futures series by Traci Harding. Tory Alexander continues her adventures in time, this time shooting into the future - a future where the Earth has almost been destroyed by the Nefilim, the master race that is the origins of Homo Sapiens. Basically, they hate us because of what we have done to our planet.
In this story, Tory continues her evolution and explores her powers further. Her son and husband come back into the picture to guide her, but I found it a little frustrating that they have developed their powers and abilities a lot further than she has. It just didn't seem to fit in with the impressions generated in Book One - that Tory will be the 'be all and end all' of time travelers and psychics and protect mankind forever. Instead, Tory has spent her immortal life worrying more about everyone else's love lives. Gone is the hard-arse tough chick who could kick your head in with her Tae-kwon-do skills. What is left is a soft, emotional girl who is just a shell of the woman depicted in the first book and a half.
Having said that, I did still enjoy this book, which moved from mystical fantasy to futuristic sci-fi. It has finished off the series, but I don't think it did so with the same flair as it began. 3 stars.