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Tethered Spirits

by T.A. Hernandez

A man with an unknown past

For years, Amar has traveled the Kavoran empire, seeking a way to recover his lost memories and end the curse that plagues him. With support from loyal friends, Amar may finally be on the verge of finding answers, but to do so, he’ll need to enlist the help of an unexpected guide.

A girl afraid of her own powers

Kesari is a Tarja, granted magical abilities through her Bond with a spirit named Lucian. Haunted by past mistakes that have left her desperate to sever her Bond, Kesari has her own reasons for agreeing to help Amar. But in doing so, she may finally have to face the fears she’s carried ever since leaving home.

A woman on a vital mission

Meanwhile, a young refugee named Aleida is in hot pursuit, hoping the secret behind Amar’s curse can save her brother from a fatal illness. With so much at stake and little left to lose, Aleida will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

And when their paths collide, all three are set on a journey to unravel a mystery far deeper than they ever suspected.

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SPFBO8 – Our Reviews

Whitney Reinhart

Amar is cursed. Every time he dies, he loses his memory. In his quest to discover the curse’s origin and remedy, Amar has the help of Mitul and Saya. Mitul is a musician and staunch friend who has been around for several of Amar’s deaths. He knows how to ease the transition for his friend. Saya is a young warrior who believes an immortal army is just the thing to prevent her people from being overrun by their enemies. She wants to claim the secrets of Amar’s curse for their benefit. Their mutual goals have been hammered into an unbreakable bond of friendship and trust.

In the Kavoran Empire, the Tarja are both revered and feared for their magical abilities. Although the true Tarja are no more, many live on by tethering their spirits to willing hosts. Appearing to others in a variety of forms, the tethered Tarja are at once counselor and familiar to their bonded partners. And, like all people’s, a tethered spirit’s motives can be questionable.

During their travels, the fellowship realizes they must move quickly for answers to their riddles while staying far ahead of the deadly Tarja who is hunting them. The Tarja Aleida hopes to harness the power of Amar’s curse to save the life of her younger brother. She is single-minded and ruthless in her pursuit. Nothing will stand in her way.

After a deadly encounter with Aleida, Amar’s friends retreat with his temporarily lifeless body to the cabin of a renowned, reclusive Tarja to prepare for his reawakening. When he comes to, he remembers nothing and no one. Amar distrusts the proofs offered by Mitul and Saya of what happens to him each time he dies. Still, having no other answers he decides to go along with them to find a Tarja who may actually be able to help him.

Their guide to the woodland cabin, a young Tarja named Kesari, continues with them in hopes of finding a way to break the bond with her tethered spirit, Lucian. Once an eager young magician, Kesari is bedeviled by events in her past and refuses to use the magic offered by her bond with Lucian.

Needless to say, adventures ensue. Choices are made. Fights commence. Swords and magic are wielded. Friendships are reestablished. Confessions are uttered. Revelations are…revelated. Answers are discovered.

“Amar wouldn’t have made it here without him—without any of them. Mitul, Saya, Kesari, Lucian—each had played a part in getting him this far, and though they all had their own motivations for seeing this through, they’d also done it for him. Because they considered him a friend. All this time, they’d been reaching out to him, offering help and concern and companionship even as he hid behind his walls.”

TA Hernandez has crafted an exciting new world in Tethered Spirits – complete with glossary for the epic fantasy fans! The stakes are high and multi-faceted, both personal and imperial. Her rendering of engaging and flawed characters is spot-on. Readers should feel no qualms about wanting to shake, throttle, slap, hug, console, or laugh with each one in turn. Pulling inspiration from several mythologies without leaning too heavily on one in particular, Tethered Spirits beautifully highlights the bonds of friendship and family and how those we choose are no less important than the ones we’re born into.

SPFBO Score: 8.5 out of possible 10.

Rebecca Hill

SPFBO Score: 5 out of possible 10.

Dan Fitzgerald

SPFBO Score: 8 out of possible 10.









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