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REVIEW: The Window Man – Xanxa Symanah

The Window Man - Xanxa Symanah

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Thriller

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Second of the Virian Companions, telling the back-story of Lyle Menehari.

Born into a high-ranking Carpathian family, Lyle’s future is all mapped out for him, or so he thinks. When he meets a mysterious new tutor and learns about his true nature, a whole new world of opportunities is opened up for him.

Training to become a spy and assassin turns out to be very different from what Lyle had expected. His new tutor has some extremely unconventional teaching methods and Lyle is constantly challenged while he prepares for the role which he is destined to perform for his family.

Throughout all his trials, Lyle is inspired and influenced by the enigmatic legendary assassin known only by the code-name of The Window Man, a figure whom he has admired since his childhood. He discovers that he has far more in common with his hero than he ever imagined.

Learning to deal with loss and disappointment is all part of the experience, as well as coming to terms with a particularly cruel prophecy. Can he overcome the prophecy and carve out a happy future for himself?

The Review

Lyandro “Lyle” Menehari, being of Carpathian descent, has turned ten years old, the adjym (adolescent phase). He is expected to learn all details of the family business. The Menehari have several businesses: silk farms, factories, clothing shops, jewelry merchants and chain restaurants.

Business is a difficult subject for Lyle. His interests are more along the lines of the Shadow Arts of espionage and assassination, along with politics, history and the study of the various families histories and secrets.

Lord Jyliano, Lyles’ father, has hired a Shadow Master, and Lyle has high hopes it will be Window Man. Lyle is surprised that his tutor is not Carpathian but Malvanian – Aravind Kurak.

Lyle is fascinated with the story of Maurizio Lebretini, who was murdered with no Patriarch issuing a Cartagrilia (bragging) of responsibility. Even no known yrrq (contact killer) seemed to be responsible, but it’s rumored that the murder was work of the Window Man.

There is what’s known at the “Inner Circle” that is made up of the more prominent families. To keep their status, they have to be very aware of those who are out to take their position in the Circle. The Castiglioni, Auguiste and Ingrao are the most notorious families trying to destroy a family to gain a higher position.

As Lyle gets older, many things change his life. But he continues his training with Kurak, who is Vyrdigaan. Lyle joins the Vyrdigaan Society, and learns all the aspects to become a spy master and assassin using his aureate powers. 

When Lyle and Kurak get word that someone is trying to kill Lyle’s father, Lyle has to put all his experience and more into play, as he becomes immersed in the Ingrao Family.  

Xanxa Symanah brings this very futuristic world – Varathis – into focus with “The Widow Man”.  I’ts a very in-depth novel about a very strange world. This novel follows the life and loves of Lyle from the age of ten to his adulthood.  The focus is on his training to become an outstanding expert in protection, espionage, assassination and much more.   

This is not a novel that you can read through quickly. It’s extremely detailed and complex, and there is much to absorb. Family structure, hierarchy of the Inner Circle, the status of children, and family responsibilities, loyalties and secrets. At times it’s violent, with the magic, spells, poisons and plots against the enemies. There’s also a growing team of mages and sorcerers that tutor Lyle in Shadow Art, becoming a Shadow Master and the Cloak of Darkness.    

I also found it interesting that Kurak’s adopted son Marvyn and best friend to Lyle spend much of their time with racing karts. There’s also an abundant use of ganjha throughout this novel but I’m not sure of its significance to the story.  

 Xanxa Symanah has several books that take place in the Virian world.  Pay special attention to the Introduction, Background to the Virian Chronicles, and Glossary of Terms that are included in the novel.

The story (and the world) had many interesting aspects – if you love wonderfully complex stories set in well-constructed futuristic worlds, you’ll enjoy The Shadow Man.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 

 

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