Good morning and welcome to this week’s In the Books, featuring The Day of First Sun (Wizard Hall Chronicles Book 1) by Sheryl Steines. I originally wrote this review in 2012 here, and am reposting it with a slight tweak after reading the second edition of the novel.
About the Book: As if tracking a deranged vampire and protecting the world of magic isn’t enough, now a mortal princess is dead and a nosey reporter is bent on exposing, Wizard Guard, Annie Pearce’s deepest secret.
If her life wasn’t already complicated enough now Annie senses a change in her longtime partner and best friend, Cham.
Is it her naturally suspicious self or is he hiding something from her?
When your partner is also the woman you love coming to work every day can feel like a blessing and a curse. But that’s the world Bobby Chamsky lives in as a Wizard Guard. Spells, hexes, curses, and murder: all in a days work. Nevertheless, at the end of that day there is nothing Cham won’t do to protect Annie.
Now that the world of non-magical and magic have crossed with the death of mortal royalty, Cham’s loyalty and love for his partner will be truly tested.
Will Annie find out if her suspicions are true?
Will Cham forgive her for her recklessness and can he save her before it’s too late?
My Review: I’ve always been a fan of the supernatural with some of my favorite stories being The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Dracula as well as a love for books, shows, and movies about them and witchcraft (ie Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Forever Knight, Charmed, Harry Potter). With that being said the thing that struck me most about The Day of First Sun wasn’t its similarity to any of those in particular but the combination of them. Let me explain.
While reading the novel, I could understand and see various parts of each within it. The organization and infrastructure of the magical community reminded me of the world of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter with their own police force and remaining separate while intertwined with our real world. In that way, the author avoided the often chaotic circumstances from the Charmed universe.
Speaking of Charmed, the book reminded me of the series because of the potions they made to heal and vanquish demons as well as the Book of Shadows that witches and wizards have to help them in the fight against evil. Like in the show, the two worlds are kept separated except for the occasional non-magical person learning of their existence in which case their memories would be modified or they’d be brought into the fold to help.
Citing Buffy the Vampire Slayer as her original antithesis, I expected a blonde (duh right?) slaying vampires and saving the world. I wasn’t too off with that but I think the largest contribution was the idea of Girl Power. The protagonist struggles through realizing the love of her life, both of them being in extreme danger, and the murder of her father in an effort to bring the bad guys to justice and let good triumph. While it wasn’t as clean and neat as that, the characters didn’t disappoint.
With this work, Sheryl Steines managed to bring a little of each of my favorite fantasy shows to the forefront and incorporated them in what I feel is a masterpiece. Yes, you heard me right and please keep in mind that‘s my opinion and I won‘t hold it against you if you disagree or call me names. To me, between her story telling and command of the world in which her characters live, I’d be surprised if one day she isn’t considered among the greats.
The new ending added a new layer to the story, and one I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out. I have to admit I didn’t see it coming, but it was a welcome surprise.