Baba gazed right through me with a solemn air. ‘We must never give up our search for The Real,’ she said.
After years of isolation, due to a pandemic, and the grinding down of her confidence through the inexplicable rift between her parents’, 19-year-old Ana is empowered by a numinous experience and a miraculous stone.
… Everything around me shimmered from within itself. I was bridge, river, riverbed and water falling from the cliff, the aria of water. I was air, breeze and water dust rising. I was mirror to mirrors yet looked from beyond mirrors. Behind my eyes a truth flashed …
She follows the Gazal River to find her soul-sister, Cara, whose parallel life in a future world foreshadows their paths’ alignment in the West. A confidential letter from her Baba (Gran) for the King of Itaka burdens Ana’s journey with secrecy. Initially in gender disguise, she travels between her parents’ contrasting realms across dangerous bridges, battles her worst fears, and finds her gift. Among artisans she meets Luke, twin to a sinister maverick preacher, neither of whom is aware of the other’s existence or their true parentage. As the brothers fight over her and betrayals unravel in Itaka, Ana’s deeper quest begins.
Course of Mirrors has won a gold medal on the Harper Collins Authonomy site through reaching the editors desk in February 2011. The story received excellent feedback, with over 900 comments that were positive and encouraging.
Here are a few of the comments …
… Exquisite imagery and beautiful lyrical writing that flows with the sparkle and dance of a mountain stream. I was caught in the mystery by that opening scene of burning books, such a sacrilege to any writer! Something profound must have led to that action … something that has to be discovered by the reader … The narrative weaves the story like a tapestry of jewel-rich colours and precious metal threads. Ana’s world is a place of enchantment and dark mystery and yet totally believable … just gorgeous in every way …
Fantasy author, Raven Dane
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Course of Mirrors is a book sizzling with original ideas and stunning descriptions. You have a high cast list but you have made the characters individual – on a full reading of the first three chapters, the last two and dips in between – with shifting, developing, realistic relationships and endless excitement. … an excellent story, exceptionally well written.
Margaret Woodward, author of ‘The Devil’s Bairn.’
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… It’s been a long time since I have been able to settle into any new fiction. So it’s a rare feat that Ashen’s novel has been able to perform on me …
John Doe, author of ‘The Lunatic Sings.’
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Once in the greatest while, I come upon a novel that would be proud to have written.
Your work is among those last few. As one who sojourns often in the metataxis between what we foolishly call reality and the greater realm that has no name, I am very moved to come upon your story. It deserves not just to be published, but to be remembered and cherished for many generations.
James David Audlin, author of ‘Circle of Life,’ and ‘Rats Live on no Evil Star.’
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I am blown away! WOW! This is amazing and I haven’t even had a chance to read that far! Trust me, I’m not going to stop till I reach the end. Your first chapter drew me in from the first line and I could actually imagine myself standing alongside Ananda as her belongings went up in smoke. Beautiful.
Your imagery and descriptive tone are so wonderfully detailed and intricate. I love the idea of Cara being a ‘Soul-sister’ for Ananda and the mirroring between the two worlds is just mesmerizing and so original.
Backed with confidence and pleasure! This is brilliant …
Roxanne Kade, author of ‘Therian.’
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In the past my poems appeared in anthologies, and I self-published 2 collections. Here are more recent publications I had a part in
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RAMBLING POETS AT CAFE CYBER
A unique project that originated online among poets on the Harper Collins authonomy site, instigated by Zan McDowell. See links under blogroll
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RAINBOW LIGHTS ABLAZE
Global Writers in aid of Japan after the tsunami. Link under blogroll.
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RIVER IN THE HEART
A CD of poems recorded together with Evlynn (Zohra) Sharp, and friends.
It can be found under ‘archventures’ – see blogroll.
HEART OF A SUFI
During 2010 I co-edited a book published by archventures that contains stories and reflections on a unique Sufi teacher. See a review of ’Heart of a Sufi’ at the Watkins Book site.
More feedback here, and you can look inside of the book as well - www.heartofasufi.org.uk