A Path of Possession

The N-ergy Cycle Book 1

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
517 Pages
Reviewed on 03/01/2024
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Author Biography

Charles Brass works as an imaging technologist in the small city hospital where he lives, some thirty miles west of Minnesota’s Twin Cities. He’s been published in one short story collection and has self-published, to no great fanfare, a handful of novels, novellas, and short stories. Writing has been his passion for more than twenty years. Writing well has always been his dream.

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Email him at:
charlesbrass@seabrassproductions.com

Charles is currently at work on his next project.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

A Path of Possession is a work of fiction in the fantasy, adventure, and coming-of-age subgenres and is the first novel in The N-ergy Cycle series. Penned by author Charles Brass, the work is intended for mature young adults and new adult readers. Lake-Ellen Redwood's life takes an unexpected turn after an unexpected lightning strike during what should have been a peaceful meditation. But recovering from this devastating injury soon becomes the least of her worries when the results of the lighting strike take a supernatural turn. Fantasy and danger both rear their heads as Lake-Ellen, suspected of harboring a devil from the ancient Heart of the Forest, faces banishment. Her journey to heal and confront the mysterious possession leads to a gripping narrative that explores the balance between power and vulnerability.

Author Charles Brass utilizes emotion and imagination to craft a fascinating dive into a world where credible mystical elements intersect with a character's harrowing personal struggles. This fascinating sense of realism is rooted in every aspect of the novel to make it all the more compelling, particularly in the character development around Lake-Ellen and the realistic psychological portrayal of coming to terms with a very bleak recovery. Lake-Ellen's predicament, caught between her own safety and the potential danger she poses to others, creates a tension that propels the narrative forward. Her dialogue and thought presentation offer us a chance to get to know her deeply and root for her all the more when things get even tougher. Brass utilizes atmosphere and scenic description to build an even greater sense of urgency, with danger at every turn of every new location, making the reader emotionally locked in the chase until the bitter end. Overall, A Path of Possession is a highly engaging fantasy that explores themes of identity, power, and the sacrifices one must make to find freedom, and I would certainly recommend it.

Jamie Michele

“Lightning—if there’s nergy to cause a possession, that fits the bill.” In the first book of The N-ergy Cycle series by Charles Brass, A Path of Possession, Lake-Ellen Redwood, a teenager on the cusp of coming of age, has always wanted to apply herself to accountancy in her guild. But trouble finds her in a moment of peace with a crack of lightning and those, whose hands in which she had put her future hopes, turn on her with accusations of hosting the demonic. Sanctuary with family is short-lived for Lake-Ellen and she is on the run again with what she believes is a true infernal takeover within, and the receipt of messages for help from another. Lake-Ellen, a Lady of the Leaves who is still just a teenager, must make impossible choices, even if it means the end of her.

Charles Brass reinvents what possession means and how it is achieved within his supernatural fantasy world in A Path of Possession. It is a fresh take on a recycled genre where the possessed, released by decoherence, disintegrate into constituent elements; ie: flames burn a possessed being, breaking it down into individual sprites. In Lake-Ellen's special case, it would signify the violent release of energy as demons disperse, potentially causing catastrophic destruction due to their immense quantity. Lake-Ellen commands our support as the protagonist, but it's the character Tammon who quickly steals the show. He has an arc that's just as strong and twice as interesting. Brass shows off his writing chops in the first book of The N-ergy Cycle series, which I highly recommend for enthusiasts of finely crafted storytelling in supernatural and fantasy realms.

Asher Syed

A Path of Possession, book one in The N-ergy Cycle fantasy series by Charles Brass, introduces fifteen-year-old Lake-Ellen Redwood, whose life trajectory altered dramatically when she started on the path of becoming a Lady of the Leaves. Unfortunately, her aspirations of becoming a guild-certified accountant are abruptly interrupted by a lightning strike while meditating beneath the ancient Heart of the Forest. Suspected of harboring a demonic entity, she faces banishment under threat of death from the ruling council. Seeking refuge with her uncle, she initially recuperates, but soon realizes she may be possessed by a powerful being, posing a dire threat to the city. Hunted by authorities and receiving distress calls from another entity, she knows her only chance of salvation lies in sacrificing herself through decoherence, a decision with fatal consequences.

A Path of Possession by Charles Brass applies themes of identity and destiny in the form of Lake-Ellen. Her character arc continues to grow through the infancy of her role as a Lady of the Leaves and her split-self experiences, leading to questions about her purpose and newfound powers, and as she progresses moving to a strong sense of self -- such as when she confronts injustice stemming from an investigator's actions. Brass's worldbuilding is exceptional; the standout to me is when we are in the midst of a diverse and bustling urban environment. There is a scene where the City Watch responds to a crisis, and a dynamic cityscape teeming with activity comes to life in a scramble, from the bustling streets to a coordinated response. It just felt so textured and lifelike. Overall, this is a well-written and immersive novel and a solid first entry into what I predict will be a spectacular series.