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Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite
Syndicate: Tales from the Twisted Eden Sector by Lyle S. Tanner is a somewhat odd (in a good way) but compelling book about magic, monsters, and the Syndicate, which is tasked with preventing magic from becoming a widely known reality. By use of their own magic and various “powers,” they shut down any user of magic who is not sufficiently circumspect in the use of that magic. By using their own bevy of psychic seers, the Syndicate always seems to know when and where something is about to happen which could lead to widespread knowledge that magic – and monsters – is/are real. As might be expected, those who work for the Syndicate are sometimes the same folks who need to be shut down.
Syndicate is written in a series of chapters, each of which is told from the POV of a different character in the tale. That technique is rather clever, in that the reader gets to experience all sides of the interplay. In some cases, a character from one chapter may reappear in another chapter, but at a different point in his/her life, and with an entirely altered perspective. Syndicate is ingeniously devised to read like a short story collection, yet each short story, or chapter, is interwoven with the rest. One gets the sense that a great deal of time has lapsed during the course of the book. One also gets the sense that this is a story that could go on indefinitely, mingled with a subtle wish that such was truly the case. Syndicate is a book that will draw you in and make you want to stay. I definitely recommend it to fans of fantasy, magic, and other related subjects.