The Prophecy of Tara is a story of prophecy, epic battles and magic. Tara was raised by monks and has trained her entire life in preparation for her role in an ancient prophecy. Protected by lizard skin armor (magical in nature) and by her superior warrior skills, she still discovers she cannot complete her quest alone.
As luck may have it, she attracts attention and assistance from several equally yet diversely skilled people along the way: Reed, a spaceman with a laser sword; Luggo, a northern warrior giant; Steph, a burly blacksmith with a secret; and Tianna, a roguish magician's assistant. The wizard Duphrene and his involuntarily shapeshifting companion Sistera eagerly await the arrival of Tara but are unable to assist for fear of interfering with the prophecy.
Besides the heroes, the villains are equally memorable and at times despicable. The evil power is formless in itself, but hides and grows in power within the hearts of a family. They send agents and mercenaries to intercept and destroy Tara and her companions, lending Tara's journey the feel of a constant battle for survival, though the various fights aren't necessary connected. As in other R.L. Kiser books, not all of the villains are what they seem. It's always interesting to see how things play out.
My only caution is that this book should be limited to adult readers due to some seriously explicit passages reminiscent of the depredations of the Mord Sith in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. The battles are also graphically described and gory.
Overall, I really liked this book, though I can only make it through one or two battle scenes in a single sitting (probably why it took me a while to read the story). The characters are charismatic and their banter is humorous. I enjoyed the magical elements and the hints at a greater history.
I recommend this book to adult fantasy lovers who don't mind quite a bit of battle gore and some sexually explicit content.
I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest, non-reciprocal review.
(reviewed the day of purchase)