The Journey Saga

The Official Website of Kandake E.Brockington

Journey through Darkness: Book I of the Journey Saga

 Experience the first Journey...

Azende, a Tamrin commander seeks out the Medjays, his tribe’s last hope against the Aksumite occupation. But instead he finds Joval and her small clan of exiled mercenaries. Together they must build an army capable of destroying their enemies, the Pharaoh of Kemet and the Emperor of Aksum…

Joval, the last General of the Medjays wants vengeance for her fallen clan. But ancient soul stealing concubus will stop at nothing to keep her from her destiny…

Tefenon, the Crown Prince of Kemet never understood why he was called the Child of Ra since birth even though he was born into a kingdom that only worships Set, the storm-god of chaos.  He is about to find out...

This is their saga.... 

 

The Journey Continues....

Journey of the Damned: Book II of the Journey Saga

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Darkness Before the Light: The Journey through Darkness Soundtrack

   A novel with its own soundtrack composed by the author

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Ancient Africa's Answer to the Odyssey and the Kalevala: 

Review of Kandake Brockington's Journey through Darkness

Journey through Darkness keeps readers glancing over their shoulders, ready to crouch and duck along with the characters at the sign of any oncoming threat. Breakout author Kandake Brockington envisions this fast-paced saga as the first in an epic series inspired by ancient African tribal cultures. Although the characters and plotline stem from Brockington’s imagination, the food, clothing, climate, weaponry, and many other details reflect extensive research and draw upon what historians know of actual people groups of the time, such as the Egyptians and Sumerians. The writer packs a wealth of description and anthropology into her short sentences, building several unique, rich worlds without slowing down the tale.

The rapid action within this novel does not interfere with character development, and several complex individuals soon burst from the pages. Right away, Azende and his female cousin Saiyasha attract our sympathy, as their elephant escapes carrying the last of their food and water supply. The last of the Tamrin tribe, they search the desert for military backup, hoping to wrest their homeland back from a brutal empire. Eventually, while grappling with bandits and wild animals, they encounter Joval, a defiant, restless female general, who attacks them to assess their origins and capabilities. Through multiple, alternating points of view, we can see both how the underdog cousins view themselves, and how they come across to Joval’s warlike Medjays.

While several people’s injuries heal, Joval reluctantly invites the Tamrin pair in to discuss an alliance. The general relates her past exploits, sharing how three years ago she bonded with Kemet’s Crown Prince Tefenon as she and her fellow Medjay mercenaries guarded him and his new bride Avaris home through a wilderness of human, natural, and supernatural adversaries. Kemet, however, had become unstable after decades of misrule and rebellion, and Tefenon and others found themselves forced to make difficult and dangerous choices about how to respond and survive.

Shifting perspectives add richness throughout the novel, bringing the diverse characters and kingdoms into three-dimensional relief. Each of Journey through Darkness’ characters, including the servants, concubines, scribes, goddesses, and demons, seems to have his or her own desire and personal quest. Even ‘wallpaper characters’ attending to scrolls in countryside temples or carrying water home from the well seek to avenge themselves on old enemies or overthrow rivals for their hero’s love. And Brockington pays sensitive attention to women’s struggles in male-dominated, violent societies. We read of the Princess left out of policy discussions and forced to marry a foreigner for diplomatic purposes, the Queen afraid of losing her sons in battle, the courtesan hoping for a marriage that will ensure her economic survival, the common female traveler worried for her safety.

No one remains safe for long within these changeable societies, where any stranger could be a potential murderer or traitor, and where one may have to assassinate one’s relatives or former best friends in order to stay alive. Characters seek protection and ultimately immortality through devotion and sacrifice to a pantheon of divinities and supernatural beings, who often seem just as jealous and fickle as the mortals they offer to shield. Through the character of the Kemetite Pharaoh Apophis, the novel suggests that dedicating oneself solely to one’s own legacy and survival can become an obsession with destructive consequences for oneself and others. Other characters, including General Joval and the Queen Mother, suffer because of death-related fears: moral judgement in the afterlife, or the loss of loved ones. Perhaps, as vulnerable and imperfect creatures, we need to come to terms with change and mortality and hold onto what we love with a looser hand.

It is a little unclear how Joval can narrate three years of history, which takes place over hundreds of miles and through many secret consultations, in such a comprehensive and objective manner. Her personal account inexplicably becomes third-person omniscient, and we nearly forget about Azende and Saiyasha as the General launches into what becomes practically a whole separate novel. The novel’s large midsection offers spectacular storytelling, yet loses some cohesiveness as the new narrator takes us to vastly different places and times without giving any nod to the present day until the very end. It seems unlikely that the cousins could safely sit still long enough to hear that much of the story of Tefenon, Joval, Medja, Kemet, and Kush by the campfire, or that Joval would have the time to relate that much information in only one night.

Journey through Darkness does leave both its main story, and General Joval’s story-within-a-story, consciously unfinished, and readers will close the book intrigued and still curious. One of Brockington’s stated purposes in creating this series is to give African cultures their own historical epic, with the force and grandeur of the Iliad or the Kalevala. With this novel as her beginning, she seems likely to succeed.

~Reviewed by Cristina Deptula, Editor of Synchronized Chaos Magazine

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