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The Magic of Voice and A. R. Kahler

There are magical elements that some writers bring to the table that other writers simply lack. Their prose rises from the page to dance with you.

The characters, the setting, the action are all brought to 3-D High Def life by word choice and sentence structure. It is the difference between reading "see spot run" and "see Spot shoot toward the exit, legs fueled by terror, chased by certain death."

When I find these amazing wordsmiths, it is like finding the most delectable dessert.

I recently had the pleasure of reading A. R. Kahler's The Immortal Circus and The Immortal Circus Act Two, a story of Queen Mab's Winter Court turned circus. The enchanting protagonist, Vivienne, runs away to the circus to forget who and what she truly is.

In the hands of a different writer, this tale could have been stale and boring, a sad attempt to rewrite A Midsommer Night's Dream as a tortured YA romance.

Instead, Kahler sets the stage, defines the protagonist, and submerges us in a fantastical tale with his original narrative voice. The fairy realm has been re-imagined and placed in a contemporary setting.  I'll share a few nibbles.

                                       h

The warmth of the wine is fading, and in the back of my mind I wonder if this is how undercover agents feel. I know that we're on the verge of war, yet everyone else is oblivious. I want to scream the truth in their faces, but instead I just grin and bear it and wait for hellfire to rain down.


                                       h

Mab glitters onstage, like a disco ball made human. A disco ball with curves to kill, poured into sheer leggings and a ringmaster coat of pale-blue mirror shards. Every inch of her breathes sex and rock and roll and every other thing your mother told you to avoid, from the points of her gunmetal stilettos to the tip of her whip cracking in the spotlight. She is smoke and seduction, the coolest palette of blue and haze. Only her top hat seems out of place, with its ruby as bright and lush as a beating heart.


                                        h

After Mab's initial whip cracks, Kingston saunters onstage. He's in his usual magician's attire, which is to say, not much at all: sequined black dress slacks, gleaming leather shoes, and a black cape slung over one shoulder. I can practically feel the estrogen flush the moment he walks on stage. And, most likely, a few jolts of a testosterone as well. If Mab is sex and rock and roll, Kingston is slow jazz and cuddling with handcuffs.


                                        h

And I remember. I remember how her blood tasted. Like chocolate. Like ecstasy. It's how all their blood tasted.

                                              h

I want to scratch the blood away, want to burn my skin until it flakes, but the power to do that is gone, gone. I am weak and shivering, and running through the empty field, praying no one is waking up, praying the chefs have yet to start breakfast, praying no one heard Sara's strangled screams from last night.
                                        h

It's worse than any hangover, any caffeine crash, any migraine I've ever had. The moment my eyes open and register light, it's like a buzz saw goes off in my head, and all I can do is stifle a scream and bury my head in the pillows. That doesn't help. The light is still there in the shadows, blinding, searing me through. And it's screaming - screaming louder than the roar of fire in my temples, louder than my muffled groans. I clench the pillow so tight to my head, I wonder if the stars exploding in my vision are from suffocation. I don't care - I don't fucking care at all. It hurts, it hurts so much; I just want it over.

                                        h

As a book addict, I am always looking for my next literary "high." I keep a list of authors I know will give me a satisfying fix. This author has certainly earned a place on it. I cannot wait for Act Three.

For more information visit http://www.arkahler.com/immortalcircus/

A. R. Kahler's books are available for purchase.




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