Mia Lockhart has a secret. Her mother was a Keeper, as was her grandmother - women who were warriors, healers, and protectors. As Mia practices among the boxers and martial artists of South London, she has no idea that a man who calls himself "Dragonfly" is watching from the shadows. Adrian Ashton is a brilliant scientist, an expert in the field of biophoton emissions from cells within the human body. He is also a skilled martial artist - and a modern day vampire. With the aid of an ancient Chinese text, he has mastered the art of draining the chi of his opponents - the vital energy that flows through their bodies. Mia finds herself drawn to his dark genius. but when he targets the man she loves, she is forced to chose between them. It becomes a fight to the death in which love is both the greatest weakness and the greatest prize. A fast-paced, highly evocative thriller, Keeper of Light and Dust is a twenty-first-century novel exploring themes as old as time: the imperative of violence and the redemptive power of love.
(- inside cover flap)
At the heart of my novel - like a golden pulse - lies the concept of chi.
Chi has never been clinically established inside a laboratory and it is not a concept used in Western medicine. In China, however, it is different. Chi lies at the heart of traditional Chinese medicine and the codified Chinese acupuncture studies go back two thousand years.
I wasn't familiar with this book before I was approached for this blog tour. I had heard of the previous novel, Season of the Witch but not this one. I also didn't have a lot of knowledge about the topic of chi and martial arts but I knew enough to understand the description.
Natasha Mostert writes a detailed thriller that combines the western world with the eastern world, modern times with ancient times. Mia is a Keeper, a secret bestowed to her by her mother at the age of 18. She uses it to protect the fighters around her and since she is also a tattoo artist, she marks them each with a special tattoo. She has the closest connection with Nick, another fighter that she has been friends with since childhood. Their relationship has evolved into more than just friendship, they just don't seem to realize it yet. When Adrian enters their lives as Nick's new trainer you can feel the balance shift. Adrian helps Nick prepare for his big fight and achieve the best fitness of his life. Although Mia is drawn to Adrian's talent she senses that there is danger as well. And she is right. She eventually becomes involved in a battle of basic good versus evil. An evil man has the desire to live forever and he won't let anything get in his way.
The world of marital arts is described in detail and you can see how well Natasha's own experiences as a kickboxer have influenced her writing. It's not just about fighting but about the art and the history of it. Some parts of this took me longer to understand but as the story went on it became more clear. This story is a work of fiction but the concepts are not. While increasing chi sensitivity is an important part of marital arts, the author has used other seemingly unrelated ideas (to me anyway) and her own experiences and connected them to form a different kind of thriller. I am fascinated by the concept of Chi and how vital energy flows through our body. I have considered acupuncture for my own chronic pain but it's an expense that my medical insurance won't cover. (Big surprise) I have become more and more open to the study of other practices, to at least consider the possiblities of benefits and applications. I applaud Natasha for following her passion and for being so creative with this book.
There are other blogs having reviews and giveaways this month. Thank you to Sheri at A Novel Menagerie for asking me to join in.
Literary Escapism – April 7th
The Literate Housewife Review - April 10th
Peeking Between The Pages – April 17th
Saavy Verse & Wit – April 21st
Jo-Jo Loves to Read – April 28th
www.natashamostert.com - author's website
www.thekeepergame.com - *The Keeper Game* is a personality game based on the book. You will be assigned a profile based on your answers and prizes are possible. First prize is a Kindle and there are weekly gift vouchers offered.
Release Date: April 2, 2009
** My First Contest! **
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Contest ends April 20th.