Found deep in the heart of the jungle, the ancient city of
Challas once thrived.It was a land of peace, wealth, and remarkable beauty. However, it has forgotten the old ways and old gods. Now the city is servant to the abhorrent priesthood and their new gods which has lead to its decay. An apocalyptic pandemic is just on the horizon.
Phalandria has not fallen under the priests rule and illusions as many have. She witnessed first hand their wickedness through the deaths of her friend and her father. Phalandria wishes to save the city from its ruin and restored to a time when it was governed by the old gods' laws. Massilis, her childhood friend, has also long professed his despise of the corrupt rulers of his beloved city. He is a man she's longed for since she first became aware of the emotion. Yet as a rule of their society they are not allowed to be together.
When the water oracle of
LakeMuchato speaks to Phalandria, it is with words of hope. It is foretold that Phalandria and Massilis will save their dying race. They have been chosen to perform the Concubitia, a sexual rite to conciliate the gods. They can finally be together and make their dream of restoring the city a reality. However, the priests fear conspiracy and will protect themselves at all costs. Phalandria and Massilis will unite as lovers and healers to restore balance or die trying.
I was caught up in the primal need for survival in RITUAL PASSION where duty is tied to the sacred act of physical bonding. There is plenty of passion in this fervent tale. While there is a bit of romance, the more simple need to connect was prominent in this plot. Cathryn Brunet's take on symbolism, self, and society in her fantasy world were striking. Her crumbling yet picturesque setting along with her bold prose were what appealed to me most. I look forward to visiting some of Ms. Brunet's fascinating worlds in the future.