Takara Shining

The Binding

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
264 Pages
Reviewed on 05/02/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Tony DiVincenzo grew up in the Pacific Northwest and is a nature enthusiast. In addition to reading and writing, DiVincenzo enjoys hiking, backpacking, fishing, camping, and kayaking.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

Takara Shining: The Binding by Tony DiVincenzo is an urban fantasy with a unique, compelling voice. The reader is introduced to the people of Ligo, who experience the Takara Shining every fifty years. It is a unique event in which the moons of Ligo align to create a gravitational effect necessary for the coloration of particles in the atmosphere. But this year, the rare event of the Takara Shining combines with the annual Zenda Celebration, an unusual combination, indeed. The youths selected for the Zenda are both excited and awed at the unfolding event. They come from the different tribes of Ligo—Kartics, Olarians, and others. But what happens during the Takara night not only threatens the lives of these characters but forces them to become creative, bold, and to learn to trust one another if they can survive the days ahead.

Takara Shining is gorgeously written. Tony DiVincenzo paints a unique world that reminded me of the celebrations around a bonfire in some cultures, especially in Africa. The colorful setting greets readers as they start the story and the setting in Ligo is meticulously written, with details in the way of life of people from different tribes and the dangerous, untamed environment that the characters navigate. The characters are well-written, especially Sabrina, Ciryatan, the Tulctan twins, Travis and Trent, and others. It is a tale of adventure and survival filled with twists and unpredictable moments that transform the plot into a page-turner. This is a well-constructed world, a phenomenon that put young characters through a coming-of-age experience that tests them to the limits. Takara Shining: The Binding is filled with adventure, a transporting story that will keep you awake, immersed in a culture that is as dynamic as it is mind-boggling.

Vincent Dublado

Takara Shining: The Binding begins when the citizens of Ligo get the rare opportunity to witness the Takara Shining that coincides with the Zenda Celebration. Both occasions are combined by the Council of Races to become a unique and special experience for the youths. Yula is one of the participants of the event, but at that fateful moment, as she observed the dancing lights come up from the plant’s surface, one of the particles revealed a fragile body, antennas, and tiny wings, and she felt the creature’s sadness. Here she also felt an impending doom and was aware that the citizens of Ligo made a huge mistake by taking a path that abandoned the essences of their nature and focused on hierarchical reasoning. A devastating event ensues, and Takara Shining was over. Years have passed, and Tara, Yula’s niece, will come to realize that there will be greater dangers up ahead, as all the races have been labeled as Es-grildooth or one who is harming the planet.

Takara Shining: The Binding is a wonderful staple to everyone’s young adult fantasy reading, a moving tale about trust and working together. Tony DiVincenzo’s tale is poignant especially nowadays because of the message it imparts even if it is wrapped in fantastic elements. DiVincenzo’s plotting is fairly straightforward. The teenagers have questions and they are afraid as they are facing a danger that can wipe them all out. This story is obviously constructed to convey an important lesson about the things we do that are toxic to the planet we live on. You cannot miss the moral because it is right up front, and when you understand what is going to happen, you are in for an unpredictable surprise. Takara Shining is the sort of urban fantasy that could shock and entertain you if you enjoy apocalyptic stories and cautionary tales.

Pikasho Deka

Takara Shining: The Binding is a young adult fantasy novel written by Tony DiVincenzo. The story takes place on the fictional planet of Ligo, where the phenomenon of Takara Shining occurs every fifty years due to a unique alignment of Ligo's moons that creates a beautiful coloration of particles in the atmosphere. This time, it coincides with the occasion of Zelda Celebration, a rite of passage for youths from all different races of Ligo, except for the Kartics. As the younglings embark on their momentous journey, they gradually divide themselves into groups, where some of them start realizing their inherent dormant powers. But a vision seen by one of them, a teenager named Sabrina, forces them to band together and work toward the common good as a disastrous calamity awaits them all.

Wondrously imaginative and built on a unique premise, Takara Shining: The Binding is a treat for fantasy lovers who feel a close affinity with nature on a spiritual level. Author Tony DiVincenzo uses multiple POV characters to tell his grand fantasy tale but the masterful usage of expository scenes to provide background information never lets any character feel superfluous. I found all of them quite distinct and particularly enjoyed the scenes involving Tara, Glaren, Ciryatan, and Sabrina. The multitude of characters made the narrative a slow burn, but I think it only enhanced the enjoyment of the story. I found the magic system intriguing. It felt unique and authentic. I would recommend Takara Shining: The Binding to young adults looking for a distinct flavor to their usual fantasy fare.