Monday, April 5, 2021

Reprise Review: Sarabande by Malcolm R. Campbell


Genre: Magical Realism/Adventure/Literary/Fantasy


“When Sarabande’s sister Dryad haunts her for three years beyond the grave, Sarabande begins a dangerous journey into the past to either raise her cruel sister from the dead, ending the torment, or to take her place in the safe darkness of the earth. In spite of unsettling predictions about her trip, Sarabande leaves the mountains of Pyrrha and Montana on a black horse named Sikimí and heads for the cornfields of Illinois in search of Robert Adams, the once powerful Sun Singer, hoping he can help with her quest.”


“Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of satire and magical realism: Conjure Woman's Cat (2015), The Sun Singer (2004, 2010, 2015), Sarabande (2011 and 2015), Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire (2009). His Jock Talks...Politics collection of satire is a Pushcart Prize 2013 nominee. Jock Stewart Strikes Back is a collection of humorous stores that was released in 2014. An excerpt from Conjure Woman's Cat was nominated in 2015 for a Pushcart Prize.”

For more information about Mr. Campbell check out his blog or followhim on Facebook.


Sarabande is an amazingly well told tale of redemption that starts off with Sarabande seeking Robert Adams help to settle Dryad’s haunting torment. Her quest starts off well through the dimensional divide and Mr. Campbell’s poetic prose is spellbinding as he paints a picture of Sarabande riding Sikimi through the night sky. Things then go terribly awry in a horrific set of events. Sarabande must draw on all of her inner strength to survive.

Sarabande finds an ally in Billy Looks Far, who is able to help her on many levels to put her back on the path to fulfill her quest. However, she must find her own way to recover from the emotional turmoil and to find her way back to her own power. The plot is full of twists that caught me off guard at times. She does find Robert who is fully Robert Adams, not the Osprey she was actually seeking. He has turned his back on being the Sun Singer to appease his parents. Finding no help from Osprey, Sarabande plans to head back home without help. The trickster coyote delays her trip which gives Robert time to change his mind about going back with her.

But hold on, the twists in the plot are ongoing and Sarabande teaches Robert about trusting your guide instead of your own logic. Magic and logic don’t often travel hand in hand. The plights they encounter are surprising on both sides of the dimensional divide. Events are disastrous and surprising once again. Mr. Campbell may have as well have torn my insides out with the way this story ended. However, it seems as though Sarabande is well on her way to healing her psyche. Which left me feeling good, however, the why and how of it still has me debating. I have to learn how to trust the author, right?

Buy now from:    Amazon US        Amazon UK


Sarabande is book 2 in the Mountain Journeys series. I should include this book contains a rape scene and other scenes with graphic violence. So if you are sensitive about those subjects, BEWARE!

Original review posted January 5, 2016.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 75,000-80,000 words

1 comment:

Malcolm R. Campbell said...

Trust authors at your peril.

I appreciate the reprise review.