Adventure readers who’ve been anticipating the final installment in the Quest of Dan Clay trilogy by Denver author T.J. Smith have to wait no longer. Book three, “The Sinister Realm,” has just been released by Tate Publishing & Enterprises.
Like the first two books in the series, “A World Away” and “The Harrowing Escape,” “The Sinister Realm” promises adventure, excitement and even a surprise or two. The story tells of Dan Clay, who has set off to locate his missing brother. The journey takes Clay through a portal to a parallel world where nothing is as it seems and the unimaginable becomes reality.
Completion of the trilogy closes out a project begun nearly six years ago by Smith, who said that once he had the idea for the story, it quickly mushroomed into the Quest of Dan Clay series.
The third installment is more than simply the continuation of an adventure, according to Smith. The characters find themselves in peril, doing battle with their own personal demons.
“I wanted to take the reader somewhere different,” Smith said. “So this time the adventurers find themselves in a cavernous world, each engaged in a struggle against his or her personal demon, which they must defeat in order to escape and complete their journey.”
The world of “The Sinister Realm” consists of seven caves, each representing one of the seven deadly sins. The adventurers encounter mythical beasts, confront statues that come to life and even meet Lucifer, who’s eager to share his own account of what actually happened in the Garden of Eden.
“Hell exists,” Smith said, “even though no one knows what it looks like. Some imagine what it might look like. That’s what I’m doing, staring into the unknown and sharing my vision.”
As “The Sinister Realm” opens, Clay and his companions have been exiled to a land of atrocities. In order to escape, the band of travelers must overcome temptation, stave off evil opponents and save humanity. And did I mention there’s a time factor?
High on excitement with danger lurking around every corner, the author spares no hardship from his characters, who he says have to deal with more than their share of creepy and crawly situations. But no matter how dire the situation becomes, Smith’s characters remain virtuous and always seek the right path.
“So many inappropriate adventure novels are geared to young people,” he said. “Harsh language and violence for the sake of violence seem to be the ingredients for a successful story. I wanted to write a story for young people that mom and dad wouldn’t have to screen first.”
Smith said his purpose for writing this tale was twofold: entertainment and, in a subtle way, education.
“I want everyone who reads this trilogy to enjoy it,” he said. “It’s an adventure, and fun to read. But it also deals with living your life by Christian principles and shows how giving into temptation affects your life. I wanted to remind people that our earthly lives are not all there is, and how our actions today determine where we’re going to spend eternity.”
At A Glance
Title: “The Sinister Realm, the Quest of Dan Clay, Book III”
Author: T.J. Smith
Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprises, 360 pp., $25.99
Available online: www.tatepublishing.com (888-361-9473) or at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders and Books-A-Million.
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