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    Review of DEFY ETERNITY: THE SCORPION CHILD by Kristina O'Donnelly (see her website)


    Rose International Publishing, 2000

    Civil unrest continues in Turkey despite military rule. Burham Bey survived the attempts of Anika Alkibiades to recreate the Byzantine Empire, but the plots she set in motion continue and Turkey is torn by terrorists from the right, left, and Armenian separatists. Meanwhile, Burham's estranged wife, Ariadne is back in New York after deserting Burhan due to a long-past affair and the son that resulted from that affair (as well as her reaction to the death of her own son, killed by terrorists).

    Ariadne, now a successful author, meets and falls for a handsome American actor who is fighting his own battles against alcoholism and a problem staying faithful to any one woman. Ariadne's most recent book is a novel about past-lives and although Daniel is a skeptic, he begins to receive hints that he and Ariadne once shared a sort of relationship in an earlier life--a relationship in which he was a priest/confessor.

    Although she swears she has left Burhan forever, Ariadne remains drawn to him and is torn between the two men she loves. But in the larger context of Turkey's problems, the love triangle is doomed to explode. When their daughter, Leyla, vanishes into the international terrorist movement and a terrorist tracks Ariadne down to New York and attacks her in her apartment, Ariadne flees to Turkey and to Burhan. But the results of her affair with Daniel remain, even as Ariadne and Burhan attempt to restore their damaged relationship.

    Author Kristina O'Donnelly (see more reviews of novels by O'Donnelly) delivers a compelling story of personal growth and suffering. The story of DEFY ETERNITY: THE SCORPION CHILD is even more topical in the post-9/11 world than when O'Donnelly wrote it, and her message of the world being one people is certainly welcome.

    Some readers (including me) may be troubled by O'Donnelly's discussions minimizing the Turkish genocide of the Armenians during World War I. Arguments about the actual events during this tragedy do not, however, detract from O'Donnelly's message that terrorist tactics are ultimately destructive of civilization.

    DEFY ETERNITY: THE SCORPION CHILD is an emotionally moving story as the major characters of O'Donnelly's LANDS OF THE MORNING series age and suffer the consequences of their mistakes--and even of their victories. Readers who started with THE HORSEMAN and CLARION OF MIDNIGHT will definitely want to add this one to their to-be-read list. Although each book in the series stands alone, I found that DEFY ETERNITY: THE SCORPION CHILD in particular benefited from having read the earlier novels.

    If you enjoy a novel with complex characters, plenty of action, and a strong thematic position, DEFY ETERNITY: THE SCORPION CHILD and, indeed, the entire LANDS OF THE MORNING series will be a welcome treat.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 7/02/06

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    What do you think? Too generous? Too stingy? Or did I miss the entire point? Send your comments to Give me the okay to use your name and I'll publish all the comments that fit (and don't use unprintable language).

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