By- Keith Yatsuhashi
Published- April 19th, 2013
Published by- Musa Publishing
Blurb:When eighteen-year-old Keiko Yamada’s father dies unexpectedly, he leaves behind a one way ticket to Japan, an unintelligible death poem about powerful Japanese spirits and their gigantic, beast-like Guardians, and the cryptic words: “Go to Japan in my place. Find the Gate. My camera will show you the way.”
Alone and afraid, Keiko travels to Tokyo, determined to fulfill her father’s dying wish. There, beneath glittering neon signs, her father’s death poem comes to life. Ancient spirits spring from the shadows. Chaos envelops the city, and as Keiko flees its burning streets, her guide, the beautiful Yui Akiko, makes a stunning confession--that she, Yui, is one of a handful of spirits left behind to defend the world against the most powerful among them: a once noble spirit now insane.
The Earth itself is at stake, and as Keiko fights to save it, strange, dormant abilities stir within her. She suspects they are vital to her world’s survival, but to summon them, she must first unlock the mysteries within herself and a past shrouded in mystery.
Get it here:
Yui knelt on the tatami mats of her father’s study, Matsuda’s staff cradled in her hands. She came back to the room shortly after Vissyus reappeared, watching as long as she could before emotion overcame her. Tears still spilled from her eyes. Tokyo was as much her home as this castle. It was part of her, and now it burned. Why did her father have to take so much from its people in order to save them? Maybe surviving would be enough for them.
It wasn’t for her.
Her Searching transported her to the heart of the city. Shinjuku’s proud skyscrapers were a pile of ash, Tokyo Tower now little more than twisted metal. She ghosted down Chuo Dori. Ginza Station had disappeared beneath a toppled building. The intersection where she’d lost Keiko was a tangle of melted wire, soot, and shattered neon tubes. The acrid scent of charred wood and chemical fires blended with the coppery tang of blood. Their monks did their best, but she never expected them to save everyone. Her father tried to hide that from her, and now she understood why.
She felt their Spirits— lifetimes and memories forever lost to the world. A battle wasn’t some game; she understood that now. The ruined city was proof enough for her. So much destruction with so little effort. What would happen when Vissyus unleashed his full power?
Shivering, she hugged Matsuda’s staff and lowered her head. Where was his strength when she needed it?
Meet the Characters:
Keiko Yamada is an eighteen year old Japanese American whose soul holds a secret unknown even to her. Alone and afraid, Keiko travels to Tokyo, determined to fulfill her father’s dying wish. There, beneath glittering neon signs, her father’s death poem comes to life. Ancient spirits spring from the shadows. Chaos envelops the city, and as Keiko flees its burning streets, her guide, the beautiful Yui Akiko, makes a stunning confession--that she, Yui, is one of a handful of spirits left behind to defend the world against the most powerful among them: a once noble spirit now insane. Keiko must decide if she will honor her father’s heritage and take her rightful place among the gods.
The Great Spirits
“Of all the elements, the strongest were always the most basic; Air and Water; Earth, Fire, and, Spirit, and to a lesser extent, darkness and light. There were others as well, though not nearly as powerful. Their interests were in the creatures that lived on the world and not the living world itself - birds and beasts, trees and flowers. The former group became known as the Great Spirits of the world, beings that took physical form and walked the planet, shaping it and watching over it as it blossomed into paradise. Casting their thoughts back into the void, they called out for helpers, Spirits nearly as old as they and with elemental powers complementing their own. These became the Guardians, servants and partners, bound to their Master or Mistress by what is known as the Law of Binding Trust; an oath sworn by the Guardian to protect and to serve, and to carry out the will of the Great Spirit who had summoned it. Out of respect for the Guardians’ voluntary servitude, the new Lords of the world swore never to strike directly at a Guardian or allow it to be harmed by anything other than its own kind. It was a relationship so strong, that it survived even when Vissyus broke with all tradition and did the unthinkable.” – Takeshi Akiko
Aeryk Tai- Banshar/Eric Aeronson, The Lord of the Air, Commander of the Winds, and King of the Heavens
One of only two Great Spirits not trapped within the Boundary, Aeryk spent the long years since the last battle reshaping the world. From his hidden sky fortress of Hurricane Point, a massive castle wreathed in the clouds of the western Atlantic, he watches over the growth of the human race, slipping into it time and again to influence the course of events. Once Yui Akiko sounds the alarm, he throws off his disguise, openly proclaims himself, and heads immediately into the Caribbean to free another of the Great Spirits, Seirin Bal Cerranon, from the mysterious prison that has held her since the end of the last war. The years haven’t diminished his love for her, nor the guilt those feelings resurrect. In his heart, he feels responsible for the catastrophe the world now faces--Vissyus, Aeryk’s friend, the strongest of all Spirits, insane because of him.
Seirin Bal Cerannon Queen of the Oceans, Mistress of the Waves, and Lady of Water
The most beautiful woman the world has ever known, and second only to Vissyus in strength.
Impatient to know Aeryk’s love and to start a family with him, she turns to Vissyus, asking him to conduct forbidden experiments on her behalf. Despite the law, despite multiple warnings, she ignores law and custom with disastrous results.
Takeshi Akiko, Lord of Spirit
Of all the Great Spirits, Takeshi Akiko is the wisest, his control and understanding of Spirit unique. He is strong and enigmatic. As events around the Spirits unravel, Takeshi develops the strategy that will save the world from ruin, even if it means manipulating everyone he loves, including his own daughter, Yui.
Yui Akiko, The Lady of Spirit
Daughter of Takeshi Akiko, Yui is the youngest of the Great Spirits and the only child born among them. Trained exclusively by her father for war, Yui is recklessly headstrong, determined to prove her worth to her father and thereby earn his love and pride. Once she and her father begin to see the signs of the Boundary’s failing, Takeshi sends her out into the world as a sentinel, a scout who will report back at the first sign of danger. Her time among the humans gives her a unique empathy for their struggles, one compounded by an unrequited love a human disciple named Matsuda Yamanaka.
Roarke Zar Ranok, Lord of the Earth
Roarke is a big mountain of a man, the tallest of all except for Vissyus. Like Seirin, he remains locked inside the Boundary until the Aeryk and Takeshi can free him.
Lon-Shan, Lord of Shadow
Among the weakest of the Great Spirits in terms of strength, Lon-Shan’s power is most potent wherever the light fails. He is perpetually jealous of the others’ superior prowess, so much so that his envy eventually results in a darkening of his own heart. Secretly, he begins planning against the other Spirits in their war, cloning a personal army for his eventual conquest of Earth. In order to succeed, he sacrifices his friends to Vissyus, believing that once the others are defeated, the Fire Lord will move on and leave the Earth behind.
Vissyus Sar Furcan, Lord of Fire
Vissyus is the strongest and most intelligent of all the Great Spirits. His natural abilities, his power and the force of his will dwarf those of any other. Only his love for Seirin surpasses his power. When she comes to him for help, he immediately accepts, ignoring the danger to himself and the world in order to make her dreams come true.
Drawn to the dark depravity in Paitr Norwoska’s soul, Lon-Shan seeks out this one-time member of the Romanian Nobility, specifically sending his Guardian through the Weakening to recruit him. His power is second only to his lust for power, a lust he shared with his Dark Master. Once inside the Boundary, Paitr becomes an integral part in Lon-Shan’s strategy to rule the world. Doing the unthinkable, the Shadow Lord tampers with young man’s Spirit, granting him a portion of the Great Spirit’s power and naming him a disciple, one of the few who would rule nations in the name of Lon-Shan. Ordered into the military at a young age, he acquired a keen insight into the intricacies of battle, one that even surpassed that of his Master.
Keith was a competitive figure skater for ten years, winning the U.S. National Junior Dance Championships in 1984, a bronze medal in the 1983 World Junior Figure Skating Championships, and a silver medal in 1984.
In addition to his love of writing, Keith enjoys many hobbies such as golf, reading, and playing football and hockey with his sons. Keith currently lives in Norfolk, MA with his wife, Kathleen and three children—Caitlin, Jeffrey, and Justin.
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