by N. S. Wikarski
This book is number 5 in a 7 book mystery/thriller/adventure series. It can, however, be read as a standalone. The author is providing a summary of the Arkana series for the tour hosts' convenience.
Where do you hide a mysterious artifact that has the power to change the course of history? You scatter clues to its whereabouts across the entire planet. Five objects buried beneath the rubble of ancient civilizations point to the hiding place of a mysterious artifact called the Sage Stone. A secret society and a fanatical religious cult vie against one another in a global treasure hunt to claim the prize. Only one can win. More importantly, only one can survive.
Chapter 1—Knot Good
In A Foreign Land – Long Past Midnight
“Watch out!” The Pythia’s warning came too late.
Several dark figures swarmed from behind the boulders lining the trail, jumping Cassie and Griffin. Before the pair knew what was happening, they were body-slammed to the ground.
Half a dozen voices were talking at once, demanding answers in a language Cassie didn’t understand. She blinked as half a dozen flashlights pointed their intrusive beams in her face.
“What’s going on?” she asked dazedly. “Does anybody here speak English?”
More voices joined the hostile chorus. Rough hands reached out to drag her toward some unknown destination. She stumbled up a rock-strewn path and was thrust inside a small tent. Griffin was propelled in after her. Two of their assailants followed and forced them to sit back-to-back against the central tent pole, tethering their hands to the stake with thick hemp rope.
Without a word of explanation, their attackers left and shut the tent flap behind them. The voices outside continued to angrily debate some unknown topic.
Cassie tried to twist around but couldn’t. “Griffin?” she called anxiously. “Are you alright?” She felt the reassuring pressure of his fingers looping through hers.
“I’m fine, all things considered. And you?”
“Other than a few bruises, I’m OK too,” she answered.
The two of them sat back-to-back in silence for several moments, listening to the bellowing match outside.
The Scrivener shrugged philosophically. “On the whole, this night might have gone worse. Whoever they are, at least they didn’t kill us.”
“The night’s not over yet,” Cassie remarked ominously.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
"There's a 52% chance that the next Dan Brown will be a woman ... or should we just make that 100% now?"
Nancy Wikarski is a fugitive from academia. After earning her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, she became a computer consultant and then turned to mystery and historical fiction writing. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Society Of Midland Authors, and has served as vice president of Sisters In Crime - Twin Cities and on the programming board of the Chicago chapter. Her short stories have appeared in Futures Magazine and DIME Anthology, while her book reviews have been featured in Murder: Past Tense and Deadly Pleasures.
She has written the Gilded Age Mystery series set in 1890s Chicago. Titles include The Fall Of White City (2002) and Shrouded In Thought (2005). The series has received People's Choice Award nominations for Best First Novel and Best Historical as well as a Lovey Award for Best Traditional Amateur Sleuth.
She is currently writing the seven-book Arkana Archaeology Thriller series. Titles include The Granite Key (2011), The Mountain Mother Cipher (2011), The Dragon’s Wing Enigma (2012), Riddle Of The Diamond Dove (2013), Into The Jaws Of The Lion (2014), and Secrets Of The Serpent’s Heart (2015). The seventh and final volume in the series, The Sage Stone Prophecy is scheduled for publication in December of 2016. All the books have become Amazon bestsellers with an overall average review rating of 4.5.
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4.5 out of 5 stars
Into the Jaws of the Lion by N.S. Wikarski is book 5 in the ‘Arkana Archaeology Mystery’ series and follows the agents of Arkana as they continue to search for the solution to a series of puzzles before the agents of the inimical group known as the Nephilim. The quest takes the trio of Cassie the Pythia, Griffin the Scrivener, and Erik the Paladin to India, where they must withstand pressures from without and within in their quest to find the next relic in the race to find the powerful Sage Stone. Fanatical Abraham Metcalf is continuing to marshal all of the resources available to him, including facilitating the development of a horrendous biological weapon and securing his worldwide empire while collecting the relics. Who will get to the puzzle pieces in time?
This fascinating and entertaining story is both a wonderful travelogue and a very clear explanation of various cultures and pantheons. Despite being unfamiliar with the series, and too impatient to read through the very helpful descriptions of characters at the beginning of the story I was immediately drawn into the action and curious about the quest. The characters were easy to relate to, and I was amazed to learn so many new facts about history and geography. I am a little puzzled about the age of the reader that this is supposed to appeal to because there are serious issues touched on in this story, including cult life, hazards associated with childbirth, and sexuality choices; intimacy is implied but not graphic; but the action and descriptions seem to be directed toward a young adult reader. At any rate, I think this is a great story that is both fun to read and thought-provoking.
A copy of this story was provided to me for review