The Call is a tale of shifting time, shifting shapes, and of love and purpose that stretches beyond normal boundaries. Time travel, romance, and fantasy all rolled together, the story begins in 1692 in the midst of Scotland's historical Glencoe Massacre. Dallan MacDonald, unable to save the ones he loves, is snatched away just as a murderous villain holds a knife over his young brother. When the next chapter begins we find Dallan in a small village defending a young boy from the current Time Master, Kwaku Awahnee, in the year 3698. We soon learn that Dallan has been in this place for ten years, ten very long years and every day has had to fight grueling battles with Kwaku. Dallan hates every minute of it and is consumed with not only going home to Scotland, but with anger because he could not save his brother, not to mention being held against his will in a place he hasn't a clue is in a time far from his own. Little by little the reader learns the facts and reasons for this brutal treatment. The truth is, Dallan MacDonald is the one man who can save the world and all humanity. But first he must be ready to fight the worst of evils and come to believe the truth of the Creator. More than that, he has to find the one girl in the world who is destined to join with him, to love and marry him and thus save all mankind from total destruction. Oh, and did I mention she was kidnapped as a baby and hidden in another time? She's been blissfully living in the USA in 1995. Oh, and did I mention she is oblivious to her destiny? That she thinks she is human, but she really isn't? She's Muiraran, and she has special traits that she is ignorant of, although the manifestation of these traits has just begun to take place. A sure sign it's time for her to meet her one true love, to join with him and create a supernatural force that can only happen when the two of them are together. So, a simple task for Dallan to perform. Right? Find and rescue the Maiden, convince her she's not human then get her to fall in love with, and marry him? Only one problem. Dallan doesn't beleive any of it. Enter those chosen to help Dallan accept his role, which is to become the new Time Master, to control his temper and use his strengths well, to believe the truth about splitting and traveling through time and the will of the Creator, to accept the need to find the Maiden, and then get her to love him and agree to marry him. But they are running out of time. Even worse, there is a villain in the wings who intends to take the girl for himself.
Whew! This is the shortest summary I could come up with that still held the essence of the story. Time Masters Book One: The Call is a lengthy book at 566 pages, but it is fairly easy to read with lots of action. It's a long ride full of twists and turns, hills and long drop-offs. The characters are strong and well developed, even the minor ones. Written in a third-person omniscient point-of-view, the novel opens up all the thoughts of different characters so that the reader is aware of what each one is thinking and doing most of the time, except when the author wants to surprise us. For this story, I think this was a good choice. Some of the characters, such as Kitty, the Maiden's talkative and klutzy friend, are added mainly for comic relief. Geralyn Beauchamp has included a great deal of humor, from Kitty's slapstick to Dallan's wry wit in his speech.
While Time Masters is a very entertaining adventure story, it is also chock full of spiritual themes. What struck me in particular was the emphasis on the sanctity of marriage and the special 'power' in the joining of man and wife as two become one. The strength of commitment and true vows, purity before marriage, are so well demonstrated even if it is fiction. Other themes include yielding to the will of God, faith, living out your salvation, and submitting to God are also included. The tale is never preachy or heavy, however.
If you are too impatient to read a long story, you may not care for Time Masters. It will take a while to peruse, even though the action makes the time pass quickly. If you are willing to try it, I think you will enjoy the tale, especially if you enjoy speculative fiction with lots of romance and action/adventure. For those of you who like a lengthy tome, you'll be in Heaven.
Time Masters Book One: The Call by Geralyn Beauchamp
2007; 566 pages in paperback. Also available in hardcover
ISBN 978-1-58385-198-2published by Cold Tree Press, Nashville TN
Available at amazon.com, Barnes and Noble stores and barnesandnoble.com