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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Author:  Rob (Robyn) Thurman
Plot Type:  Urban Fantasy (UF)
Publisher and Titles:  ROC
       "Snakeskin" (prequel novella in Kicking It anthology (12/2013)
       Trick of the Light (9/2009)
       The Grimrose Path (9/2010)

      If you know Rob Thurman only through her CAL LEANDROS series, you’re in for a big surprise, because this series is quite different. Trixa Iktomi, the heroine, owns a bar off the Vegas strip and spends her spare time hunting down and killing demons with her protégés Zeke Hawkins (a telepath) and Griffin Reese (an empath), who (in book 1) work for Eden House, a demon-hunting organization sponsored by angels—yes, real heavenly angels. Leo, Trixa’s American Indian bartender buddy, is the third person on Trixa’s team, along with his raven, Lenore, with whom he has a VERY close relationship (wink, wink). 

     Trixa is a streetwise, tough, wisecracking modern woman, even if she is a centuries-old trickster, with super strength. Trixa is, for the most part, the only female character in this series, surrounded by supernatural males whom she continually overwhelms, either with her powers, her intelligence, or her wit. Her fighting skills and weapons are more than a match for Anita Blake or any other urban fantasy heroine you have encountered. 

     Here is Trixa's own explanation of her trickster heritage: "My name is Trixa. That was one of the names I'd had in my lifetime….This one though…this one was one of my favorites, because I was a trickster, born and bred of one of many trickster races.….There were a variety of tricksters loose in the world. Pucks, also known as Pan, Robin Goodfellow, Hob, and so on….Then there was my kind. Shape-shifters. We were hundreds, thousands of legends. Coyote, Kitsune, Kokopelli, Nasreddin, Raven, Maui, Veles, too many to name….We weren't immortal, but we didn't have to worry about watching our cholesterol either. I'd been around to see the sky darken half a world away when Pompeii had died….But now? Now I was still a trickster, but a shape-shifter no more. I was a thirty-one year old humanwas actually all human races on earth….While I was all races, two did rise to the top….Eyes I'd admired the last time I'd been on the Japanese Islands, the mouth that was fond memory of the years I'd spent in Africa, and wildly corkscrewed black curls and skin that was a mixture of both places." (from chapter 1 of The Grimrose Path)  

     The books are written from Trixa's point of view in the first-person voice, so they have a stream-of-consciousness quality that reflects Trixa's old-soul outlook on life. Sometimes this can get a bit woo-woo, but in general, it works quite well.

            PREQUEL NOVELLA:  "Snakeskin"            
     This novella takes place ten years prior to book 1 and introduces Trixa in her purest Trickster form as she takes on a case and gives her client just what she says she wantsbut not exactly with the outcome the wished for. Also included is the scene in which Trixa first meets and befriends Zeke and Griffin, both of whom are still with her in the novels. In addition, more hints are provided as to the real identity of Trixa's bartender friend, Leo. All in all, this is a nice introduction to the series for a new reader and a nostalgic trip back in time for someone who has read the novels. 

            BOOK 1:  Trick of the Light            
     In the series opener, Trixa searches for her brother’s killer and for the magical Light of Life, with angels, demons, and Eden House bigwigs trying to beat her to the punch. 

     Although parts of the surprise ending are telegraphed early on, there is still plenty of mystery left to be unveiled during the final “apocalyptic throwdown,” as the back cover describes it.

    Here are the opening lines of chapter one: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. I'd read that in a book once, a fairly famous one. Right now I was going with the time of reaping. Fire had been sown and fire would be reaped. Now. By me, personally." Click HERE to read more of chapter one.

            BOOK 2:  The Grimrose Path            
     In this book, an ancient evil god comes to town with worldwide domination as his goal. Trixa must form a shaky coalition with various enemies to overcome his powers, all the while coping with a diminishment of her  own supernatural powers. Eligos, the local demon lord plays an important role in this book, just as he did in book 1. The narrative sometimes slides very close to stream of consciousness on Trixa’s part, but always pulls itself back to focus on the plot and the sarcastic dialogue among the characters.  

      Readers should be aware that Trixa is an unreliable narrator; she tells her team members (and the reader) only so much and frequently withholds important information until she is ready to tell it, but this just adds another level to the suspense. Trixa is also a liarshe's the Trickster, remember, so don't always believe what she tells you.

    Here is Trixa's summation of her philosophy on the tricks of fate: "Life was a trick. That was what it boiled down to in the end; life was one big trick, one huge April Fool's….It was what it was. At the very end of it, we all ended up on both sides. The universe was fair that way, because everyone, without exception, had something to learn. We were all naughty in one way or another….Life was a trick, a trick was a lesson, and I was a teacher….Those who couldn't or wouldn't learn?…Apply a 'Darwin's Rule's' attitude and let the pieces fall where they may." Click HERE to read a more extensive excerpt from The Grimrose Path.

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