Imago Chronicles Book One: A Warrior’s Tale

Imago Chronicles Book One: A Warrior’s Tale

By Lorna T. Suzuki

Copyright 2003 by Lorna Suzuki, printed by Lightning Source, distributed by Ingrams and also available from the author’s website at http://web.me.com/imagobooks

ISBN 978-0-986724-0-2-2

Imago Chronicles Book One: A Warrior’s Tale by Lorna Suzuki is currently under negotiations for film production. This isn’t surprising as the storyline for the book is action-packed and engrossing. The lead character, a half-human, half-elf young woman is strong, yet very vulnerable, but not in ways that are easily discernible, even to the reader’s eye.

The heroine, Nayla Treeborn is taken away by a family friend after her father beats her. Nayla is taken to a hidden colony far to the north of the city where she grew up. Nayla is hidden amongst a fierce band of people who are also spiritual warriors, called the Kagai. It turns out the Kagai knew, and admired Nayla’s mother, Kareda Bansho. Wanting to leave her past behind her, Nayla takes on a mortal name given her by her mother and becomes Takaro Bansho, leaving the identity of Nayla Treeborn behind her as she enters the Kagai warriors’ town of Anshen.

The Kagai are kind people and under their tutelage Takaro flourishes. As time goes by she is taught the ways of the Kagai warrior and her long life allows her to extend her studies through multiple generations of Kagai masters. The down side of this long life is she sees so many friends pass away, but at last, she becomes a Kagai warrior.

The action scenes in Imago Chronicles Book One: A Warrior’s Tale are extremely well written. I believe this is due in large part to Suzuki’s twenty-five years of martial arts experience. She brings realism to the fight scenes that is often lacking in fantasy books.

Imago Chronicles Book One: A Warrior’s Tale is Takaro’s/Nayla’s story. It is of the battles she fights we hear. It is of her love that we are told and like her we long for its fulfillment. It is her passion, for life, for the people she protects, for those she loves and cares for, and even for those whom she despises that we care about. It is her life we wish to see preserved at all costs and throughout the novel we are brought time and again to situations where it is quite conceivable our heroine may not survive, especially since the novel opens with a scene where she is at last, preparing for death.

What follows is a scene from Imago Chronicles Book One: A Warriors Tale

“…for soon, you shall be asked to take up arms to join your brothers,” said Yaruke. “Your task will be to memorize the areas; the lay of the land Medaru shall be leading our men into. If any of the men become separated, it will be your job to see the warriors to safety. And as you are now trained in the art of healing, your task is to administer to the care of the wounded until they can be delivered back to Anshen.”

“Will I be ready?” asked Takaro. “Will I be leaving any time soon?”

“You are as ready as you will ever be. And yes, you will be leaving soon,” answered her master. “I had received word from the east that the Emperor has sent forth another army to enter our lands. He plans to invade our country before the next full moon.”

“And I shall be going this time?”

“Unfortunately, yes,” answered Yaruke, with a dismal sigh.

“How can that be unfortunate? I have trained for this a good long time, master. I have seen too many of my brothers go off to battle, some never to return. I feel a need to go; to fight by their side.”

“Are you not scared?” queried the warrior priest.

“I cannot deny that deep down, I am scared, but I am more scared of failing than I am of dying,” she responded in a small voice. “I am afraid that I may not have the courage to face the enemy when the time comes. I worry that I may lack the bravery to rise up against our foes to do what you and your forefathers have done.”

“What do you define as courage, Takaro?” questioned Yaruke.

“A warrior who is courageous is one who can boldly charge into battle and willingly slays the enemy, as quickly and as many as possible,” she answered with conviction. “And he can rise up to each occasion to do battle again and again without wavering.”

“No, my child, this is not courage. Any seasoned warrior can enter battle and not think twice about the situation he is about to face.”

“Then what does it mean to be courageous? asked Takaro, curious to learn more.

“The measure of one’s courage is not dependent on the number of heroic feats one undertakes, or the number of foes taken down in battle,” explained Yaruke. “Instead, true courage arises when one is forced to face his absolute worst fears, to be truly frightened, yet still find the courage to rise up and meet the challenge. Now that is true courage.”

Takaro considered her master’s words and with a sigh, responded: “Whether this type of courage is within me, is yet to be seen. I suppose I will not know until the moment of truth.”

“Let it not be said that there is not one of us; my father, his father, or his father’s father who did not question this the first time we were asked to take up arms. It is like a baptism by fire, not until you are tried in the heat of battle will you discover your true courage,” Attested the elderly warrior. “For my part, I have shared with you all that I can of warriorship. I have imparted the wisdom of my forefathers on to you. And through you, I hope to keep our traditions alive for as long as it is need to secure peace and justice in our realm.”

“I will try to do you proud master,” promised Takaro, bowing deeply in respect.

“I know you will, little one. I hold great hope for you,” said Yaruke. His eyes twinkled with pride as a smile creased his aged face. He gave her hand a gentle squeeze of reassurance.”

Imago Chronicles Book One: A Warrior’s Tale is a fantasy full of touches of realism. It speaks with action, love and wisdom. It draws you deeper into the story and into the fantasy as you continue to read. I highly recommend this book. It is Pigeon Gold and remember, if production negotiations go well look for it as film or another type of media.

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