The Vision: Green Stone of Healing Series - Book One Paperback – June 19, 2008
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From the Publisher
These ground-breaking novels interweave timeless, compelling tales of romantic love, action and adventure, and just a dash of mysticism with an unblinking take on equally enduring issues of race, gender, religion, power, and even reality itself.
Such is the Green Stone of Healing(R) epic fantasy series. Set in a mythical island nation called Azgard, this saga chronicles what happens when politics and piety collide.
Unlike most works of its genre, this series features four generations of strong female characters. The triumphs and tragedies, hopes and heartbreaks of these fictional women play out on a male-dominated stage, where a theocratic oligarchy bent on total world domination instead serves up its own self-destruction.
The series' protagonists own or inherit a mysterious green gem that mends broken bones and broken hearts, shields against missiles, and can render its wearer invisible. All of them try to offer a healing, inclusive alternative to the priests who discriminate against anyone who does not look like or share the religious views of Azgard's ruling elites.
Readers who become fond of the characters will be delighted that many of them reincarnate and their stories continue, affirming that not even death can forever divide loved ones--or enemies.
About the Author
She has been a professional writer since 1976, when she became associate editor of The Suffolk County News. She has worked fulltime or freelanced for numerous media that include Adweek, Business Week, the Dallas Times Herald, Forbes, the International Herald Tribune, The New York Times and Reuters America.
Candace is also familiar with the intimate link between spirituality, energy and healing. She believes that healing the individual and healing the world are interrelated in ways that many people might not expect.
In 1999, she published non-fiction she co-authored about emotional and spiritual healing resolution based on the Sunan method of working in the energy of human consciousness. In this book, she provides an expanded definition of energy that demonstrates the connection between matter, spirit, heart and mind.
Candace has used the insights into the nature of healing that she gleaned from Sunan therapy plus reawakened knowledge of her own past lives and the past lives of family and friends to write her epic fantasy series.
Candace resides in Texas with her partner and editor, Jana L. Simons.
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The book is thought provoking and clever, when you think there is no way out or the situation is a no win, a resolution is made, a resolution that could never have been imagined.
The characters are so vibrant and real, whether good intentions or bad, some think with their heads, some with their hearts, some with their reptilian brain, and some just don't think at all.
The book is sometimes complex, there are many characters, with several issues, and events occurring simultaneously; fortunately, the author provides a glossary in the back of the book and has a website for additional information. I emailed the author from the website which is printed on the back cover, she was glad to hear from a fan and answered a question I had about the book.
I have read all four books in the series and can't wait for book five to be published.
When is the movie coming out?
This story is mostly about royalty and politics. Some military doctor chick is tasked with saving a prince who had a heart attack. Everyone just assumed he was dead. And he was for a few minutes, but the doctor chick brought him back. Now he's a zombie prince. Yay!
But wait, this doctor chick isn't even royalty. What the **** is she even doing on the grounds? That's sacrilege! Arrest her at once! And so they do, and like a third of this ****ing book is dedicated to her trial for stepping on sacred ground. A capital offense. Really? You're gonna put some hot chick to death because she stepped foot in your secret garden? That's ****ing retarded.
Of course she's convicted, and sentenced to death. But come on, she's the main character in this story, and frankly, the only interesting one. She's not going to ****ing die. You can do all the preparations you want. Put her in a cold cell naked. Torture her all you want. She's not going to ****ing die. So it's really a wasted attempt at suspense.
Because at the last second, with her head on the chopping block, her long-lost father, Lord James comes to the rescue. Yeah, I saw that coming a mile away, man. No surprise whatsoever. Lord James takes her to his large house in the country, and pampers the **** out of his long-lost daughter.
But Helen is having none of it. "**** you, dad! I can take care of myself, thank you very much." But Lord James has his man-servant drug her, so she stays in bed, like a good little girl. But eventually, she heals up enough to go on being the good doctor, attending to the sick and ailing royalty.
I really didn't like this book. Not because it was poorly written, though. It was very well written. With amazingly vibrant characters. Especially Helen. I ****ing loved Helen. She had some spunk. Even though she was a virgin. Why do they always have to be virgins? Being a slut is way more interesting.
No, the reason I didn't like this book was the fact that nothing actually happened in it. It was just gossip and rumors and politics and bull****. Nobody died. Nobody got ****ed. It was all just innuendo. There wasn't even any real back-stabbing. I'd expect some crazy back-stabbing from a ****ing soap opera, but with this story there was none. And that lack of conflict made the story boring as ****.
Without giving too much away, The Vision follows Lt. Helen Andros, a half-breed who has had to work harder than anyone else just to get one grain of respect as a healer. Her hard work made her one of the best healers in all of Azgard, but it also guided her into being an abrasive, stubborn individual. What Helen doesn't know about her past, however, becomes a subject of brutal laws, violence, and political poison. Helen is an illegitimate orphan in a nation divided by race and rank, but when the truth of her origins begins to surface, the entire Toltec world will be shaken and the era of near-purity amongst the Toltec nobles will come to an end. Needless to say, some Toltecs aren't willing to lose their way of life and will try anything to hang on to their power and their belief in the purity of the Toltec race.
Talmadge's novel does a decent job of establishing the world of Azgard and the characters that will play an important role throughout the series. One of the issues I had, however, was that, while a lot of worldbuilding is a good thing, the worldbuilding in this novel seemed a bit much for the space provided. Some of the elements of Azgard seemed under dressed or overwhelmed by too much dressing. It became somewhat difficult to remember who was who, who was related to who, etc. This will likely be less of an issue in the following novels of the series, since most of the characters that will appear there will have already been established, but I feel like The Vision could have benefited from additionally pages devoted to showing us the world and all its intricacies.
Setting the worldbuilding aside, The Vision is a highly political book that delves into the inner workings of thoroughly entrenched politics--in this case the Toltec nobles. It is populated with a variety of interesting characters. Helen, who eventually becomes mixed up in all of it, even though, technically, she was already rather mixed up in it, takes center stage, with a huge cast of lords surrounding her, who generally are easy to pick out from the crowd, but can get a bit muddled when you toss them into a room full of other lords. Helen, though, is the resident "difficult one." She has good reason to be and her rather harsh dealings with other characters often come off in a humorous way. Other characters, such as Lord Justin, would do well with more characterization in later installments--this is something I'm hoping for.
For the most part I enjoyed The Vision, but it had several flaws, some of which have already been mentioned. One additional issue is one of style. Talmadge moves between POVs fluidly, but without breaks. She jumps back and forth between characters, sometimes to convey information to the reader that can't be conveyed with Helen or whoever is supposed to be the main viewpoint in that particular part of the book. This is a problem for me because I don't particularly like this style; often times it seems amateur and I see it as distracting from the characters that are most important to the story. Hopefully it lightens up in the other books.
Overall, The Vision is a complex piece of speculative fiction. While it has many flaws, it at least succeeds in being somewhat intriguing. Helen's wit and tough attitude are attributes to pay attention to and there are certainly plenty of interesting things to be said or observed about the politics of the Toltecs. Something I am still very much curious about is how much of the plot is actually set up by one of the other characters, whose name I will not mention here to preserve the mystery of the story. Is it all an elaborate ploy, or did it just work out the way it did with the noble houses becoming split by one person, even though that person never asked for it?
Top international reviews
I was proven wrong, and I am so happy that I did buy it to read.
The main character is Helen. She is dedicated to her profession, quick-witted, directly blunt with her words, and has loyalty from true friends.
The story flows, and I found it difficult to put down until I finished reading it.
The only fault you might give the book, is trying to understand the classes of hierarchy in the story, but the answers are at the back of the book, lol.
I hope you enjoy this book as I have, Cheers!