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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
"Dame Topaz Treasures, volume II: Spirits, Ghosts and Magic" is an anthology with something for everyone. The first tale features Will Connor, a dealer in jewelry and antiques, who begins to have dreams of a young woman with arresting blue eyes. These dreams intensify when he acquires a gold and topaz locket from his friend, Shorty, a second-hand dealer. The locket contains the picture of the woman of his dreams, and he becomes determined to find her. The second tale is set on Halloween and is magical and filled with fun as a young teen and his six-year old sister have an evening to remember. Topaz and the Lucky Seven is an engrossing fantasy epic with wizards, princesses and a strong and adventurous female hero.
This is the first time I've read anything by Carrie S. Masek, but I know it won't be the last. I was wrapped up in Will Connor's narrative from the start of the story and really enjoyed the dream sequences. Likewise, the Halloween tale was vivid and magical. The real star of the book, for me, however, was Topaz and the Lucky Seven. It is easily one of the best fantasy tales I've read in a long time and is a refreshing entry into that field. Zaida is a fabulous hero -- she is strong and resourceful, and her relationship with Cook, the closest thing to a father she has ever had, is a joy to experience. This tale is sword and sorcery fiction that kept me enthralled to the very last page. I enjoyed every tale in this book and will be recommending it to my friends.