||Dec. 3, 2010
A curious amulet passed down for generations for reasons long forgotten.
An ancient medallion of rare quality and a capriciously deviant source of power.
A mural that seems to acquire a will of its own as it is created.
An exotic honey bee and a blood red rose … and a boy with extraordinary artistic capabilities.
Add to these peculiar elements the sudden appearance of a most unwelcome guest in search of a lost source of a vital power and intent on mortal revenge and you have before you the essential ingredients for a captivating story of destructive obsession pitted against the power of the imagination and individual resourcefulness.
Martin Truemartin is a tale of transcendence and transformation. In fact, transformation occurs at many levels and, although especially affecting the main character of the title, it is through him that other characters are vitally transformed as well.
Like so many characters portrayed in fantasies, Truemartin is no exception in suffering the many conflicts of adolescence. Possessing little faith in him self and having fears of a hopeless future and somewhat physically flawed as well, he is hardly master of his own destiny. But as fate intervenes, so does opportunity as Martin is mysteriously transported, as if by design, to a strangely enchanted, metaphysical landscape populated by a number of rather eccentric personalities and where he is reluctantly seduced into deciphering an ancient riddle and breaking an ancient curse in urgent need of resolution before its inhabitants are cast for eternity into a wicked darkness.
Eccentric characters abound but their personalities meld almost alchemically with Martin's exquisite charm and uncommonly exceptional, nearly preternatural, artistic gifts, and true love finds him totally unprepared!
As evil is lurking in the form of a young man who is in possession of a most powerful instrument, he pursues Martin who is unaware that he, too, is in possession of an equally powerful medium. Making use of his talent, and with the consummate aid of his unusual friends and mentor, he attempts to outwit and to overcome the increasingly malicious force and, in the process, to transcend his personal imperfections. Martin also arrives at an astonishing realization concerning who he truly is and special knowledge of his unique ancestry.
While a bit of sorcery surely intercedes, often capriciously, full transformation is ultimately achieved through the mediums of love, friendship and unconditional trust.
Standing back to examine the nearly completed mural of the East wall,
Martin took a step backwards as he stared in astonishment at what he saw.
The mural had changed. It had transformed, and the transformation was far from subtle!
The single rose which he had completed only days before had blossomed into a briar. Two long, thorny vines of painted roses and leaves had flowered
upward toward the painted sky and then
outward, stretching over the green fields below.
The enchanted couple, central to the mural, were still kneeling, but were facing upward and smiling.
Some of the celebrant figures had also changed. Some were turned outward, facing the room, while others faced in either direction, all ruddy cheeked
and smiling as they observed the various events portrayed on the mural.
The vine on the right gracefully descended and had draped itself gently around a figure of what appeared to be a child. Martin walked over the far
right and studied the figure. Was it a boy or a girl? Martin could not tell. Its face had been left featureless.
Moving over to the left, Martin examined the opposing vine that also descended in mirror image to its counterpart, but its end had wrapped itself tightly around a sinister appearing figure in a black, hooded cloak. The figure was entrapped in
the vine, struggling to get free. From within the darkness of the hood, two blood red eyes peered out, focused directly on Martin, and around the
figure’s neck was the black, beaded necklace to which a medallion was attached, exactly like the
one he had observed in the museum.
“The Sorcerer’s Beads,” whispered Martin, “It’s Arttus!” he said.
Forward Clarion Review
Five Stars (out of Five)
“There was something about the ancient relic that was strangely attractive to Martin. Leaning closer…to test the texture of the black stones, Martin sensed an odd tingling at the tips of his fingers. Then, suddenly, he experienced a jolt, like a shot of electricity…”
Thirteen-year-old Martin Truemartin displays an incredible artistic talent and a dismal lack of self-confidence. As he struggles with school, he becomes more and more unhappy. His frustrated parents send him to his grandparents for a year as a last refuge to turn his life around.
As the train takes Martin to his new home, strange happenings begin. The other passengers disappear, Martin arrives at Dejermaine instead of Legermain, and an uncommunicative chauffeur meets him at the station and drives him to an old castle where he is immediately put to work in the kitchen.
Martin’s life is about to change. As he lives and works with the sundry characters who inhabit the castle, he learns the history and legend of the Dejermaine family. The legend centers around lovers Jaridameen and Kazlynn, Kazlynn’s beloved honey bee Felix, a blood-red rose, a family heirloom and Jaridameen’s brother Arttus.
In this tale of good and evil, Martin discovers life lessons as he finds the missing pieces to the family legend. To solve the puzzle, he must confront the evil that lurks within. As blackbirds take over the castle grounds, he learns about the family curse from O-John, the young heir to the Dejermaine legacy, and Dreama, the girl who awakens his heart.
The story is filled with charming, sometimes eccentric, and alas, even purely evil characters. Dejermaine Castle’s history must be understood and its secrets unraveled to break the family curse. Martin maneuvers through his rise from the lowest kitchen position to the castle artist when he accepts the challenge to capture the family history in a mural for the grand dining room. As he searches for inspiration, he faces his own weaknesses and imperfections. As his feelings for Dreama grow, he recognizes that he alone is responsible for his actions.
Along with a well-developed cast of characters, the appealing setting and smoothly developed plot combine to enhance the reader’s experience. While the story entertains at surface level, it lends itself to a deeper exploration of character development.
Author L. D. Rafey loves history, mythology and art. In addition to practicing medicine, he writes children’s fiction and poetry.
In this delightful tale, Rafey gives readers a story that encompasses adventure, ancient curses, friendship, love and a search for truth. Although initially Martin’s charm lies in his humility, as he matures and gains self-confidence, his appeal grows larger in his open, trusting and caring personality.
Pat McGrath Avery
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