Absolute obedience, servitude, neutrality.
These were the laws that once governed Bartholomew, an immortal soulcatcher, until one ill-fated night when he was forced to make a choice: rebel against his masters or reveal an ancient, dangerous secret.
He chose defiance.
Imprisoned for centuries as punishment for his decision, Bartholomew wastes away—until he creates an opportunity to escape. By a stroke of chance, Bartholomew finds himself in the human world and soon learns that breaking his bonds does not come without a price. Cut off from the grace that once ruled him, he must discover a new magic in 1930s Chicago.
Armed with only a cryptic message to give him direction, Bartholomew desperately tries to resume the mission he had started so long ago. Relying on the unlikely guidance of the streetwise orphan Charlie Reese, Bartholomew must navigate the depressed streets of the City in the Garden. But in order to solve this riddle, he must first discover if choice and fate are one in the same.
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Two unlikely friends from two different worlds meet under dire circumstances and are now charged with saving one another from the evils of their own worlds. Breedling Bartholomew is a soulcatcher from Euxinus, a world controlled by the Fates, a world where he chose to disobey his masters and has now been imprisoned. Escaping his prison, Bartholomew lands in an orphanage in 1930's Chicago, an orphanage that is currently on fire. With the help of Charlie, Bartholomew is able to escape the burning building,but at a price. While saving Bartholomew, Charlie's cousin dies in the flames. When they finally escape the burning building, Bartholomew receives a message from Euxinus, he must use Charlie to to find the mortal who will help him complete the mission that he began centuries ago.
This book took me on an interesting and unexpected journey, combining urban fantasy and historical fiction. At first I really had no idea what was going on, but as the story progressed, I was drawn in by Bartholomew's quest and his and Charlie's friendship. Charlie is an absolutely amazing character, a young man who has seen large amounts of tragedy in his life and who still makes it his mission to help others since that was his mother's life lesson to him. Bartholomew's troubles on Earth, or Eden, as he calls it, brings a sense of levity, especially as we learn how the world's are colliding. In addition to the fantasy aspects, the historical elements of 1930's Chicago were vibrant for me. From the breadlines, to Grocer Pawlak, to the speakeasy and the rival Polish and Lithuanian gangs, the City in the Garden was brought alive, although I don't know how much some of these side stories moved along the plot. Also, we leave the characters on a very tenuous note, there is a sequel, so hopefully things will pick up then.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Kimberlee Ann Bastian has a unique love affair with American nostalgia, mythology, and endless possibilities. This melting pot of elements is what prompted the creation of her epic ELEMENT ODYSSEYS series, starting with the reboot of her debut novel now titled THE BREEDLING AND THE CITY IN THE GARDEN.
When she is not in her writer's room, working her current "day job", or consuming other literary worlds, she enjoys hiking and cycling around the bluffs of your Southeastern MN home and catching up on her favorite pop culture.
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