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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Transformation of Anna is the first book in author Charlene A. Wilson's Cornerstone Deep Series. Brothers Cole, James, and Vincent Shilo are harvesters for the elite rulers of Cornerstone Deep. The Shilo family comes from a different dimension, Meridian, whose gods created beings who live long lives and are reborn as the process of their souls' growth. Their role in Cornerstone is to harvest, or reap, workers for the elite, by using their magic to overcome the harvesteds' wills and replace them with forgetfulness and compliance. Those harvested are generally the homeless and the brothers are able to tell themselves that, for most of the harvested, their lot in life improves after harvesting. Lord Dressen, a Grand Marshall, has requested that they procure for him a chambermaid, and the brothers find Anna, a stained glass artist who violated the curfew order in order to fulfill that Lord's order for her work. Something comes over Cole as he be-spells her, and he binds her soul during the harvesting process, an act that has grievous consequences. Cole must find out why he did that and how to correct his error.
The Transformation of Anna is first-rate fantasy, with a healthy dose of romance added in. Wilson has created a plausible, multi-dimensional world complete with gods, mythologies, and engaging characters. The Shilo brothers complement each other perfectly, quarreling as brothers do, though their wizardly skills make those arguments larger than life. Vince is the youngest and a hothead; James the elder is a fixer; and Cole, while the second, is the leader of the three. Watching them rumble and fight is often reminiscent of Greek and Norse mythology. The world Wilson has created in The Transformation of Anna is complex, but infinitely and easily accessible to the reader. It's quite an amazing and impressive work with lots of action and adventure, heroic characters, and an elegant and satisfying romance. I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading more about the Shilos and Anna.