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Keeper of Light and Dust    by Natasha Mostert Amazon.com order for
Keeper of Light and Dust
by Natasha Mostert
Order:  USA  Can
Dutton, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Natasha Mostert writes prose that is lyrical and spellbinding. Her newest novel, Keeper of Light and Dust, is a fascinating thriller that expertly combines speculative fiction and the world of martial arts in a way that only Mostert can. This book is simply beautiful and terrifying at the same time.

Mia Lockert is a tattoo artist, martial arts practitioner, and a keeper a chi healer who protects fighting grunts from afar. While it's stressful, Mia has always been happy with her task until one of her charges dies mysteriously. Luckily, her childhood best friend, Nick Duffy, has recently moved back to town and is always there to offer his support. Also around is the handsome stranger, Adrian Ashton (Ash) who quickly works his way into the tight group of martial artists at Scorpio, the dojo where both Mia and Nick train. Mia instantly feels a connection to Ash, though she cannot explain if it is good or bad, but she befriends him anyway and agrees to do a tattoo on him that will strengthen his chi.

Meanwhile, Nick is training hard with Ash as his partner, quickly forming a deep bond with the new guy. Nick is also investigating a series of mysterious deaths among fighters, deaths that might be linked to the shadow figure who stalks Mia as she steps out to heal her charges' chi. Both Nick and Mia must solve these mysteries to save the one they hold dear.

Keeper of Light and Dust is a thriller like no other. More haunting than action packed, it still keeps the reader deeply engaged in seeing how everything plays out, especially since the reader has knowledge that the characters do not share. All the characters are fully-formed and highly credible making the premise seem believable, although it really is impossible. It takes a skilled writer to do this, and Mostert's talent deftly shines through her enigmatic prose.

Fans of a wide variety of genres will fall in love with Keeper of Light and Dust. Natasha Mostert is truly a remarkable writer and one to watch.

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