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Allusions to one of my favorite 80s action adventure movies aside, Todd Sullivan’s 2nd installment of THE WINDSHINE CHRONICLES: THERE WILL BE ONE definitely doesn’t  burn out nor at all in the least fade away.

This time around, the story unfolds from the point of view of Woo Jin, a young hero-in-the-making who’s been training all his life for the inevitable quest that’s the birthright of all the best and brightest of South Hanguk’s male children.

The unfolding of the action follows the same pattern as book 1 in the WINDSHINE CHRONICLES: Protagonist from Jeju Island prepares to venture to the South Hanguk capital to receive his quest instructions from the Governor / Protagonist travels to the capital and meets the Governor, as well as the other boys with whom he will be questing / band of brothers ventures out into the wilderness to begin said quest…heroic deeds and bloody mayhem ensue.

Author Todd Sullivan wastes no time raising the stakes. By chapter 2 Woo Jin is already in a double bind. The meeting with the Governor and his quest mates is more than just filling time before the heroic deeds and mayhem. Woo Jin’s initial reluctance to execute his secret-secret mission, that is a part of and apart from the quest he will also have to complete to secure his place in South Hanguk Lore, gives way to acceptance partially because of his aversion for what he doesn’t understand, ie the foreignness of his target.  

One inconsistency sticks out for me during this initial phase of the story however. The Governor first says, “Rarely have I seen a quest as difficult as this…” and so instead of the standard limit of 4 young men per quest, the number is doubled. Then in the next chapter, the Governor seems to downplay the level of difficulty, assuring the band of brothers about to go out and put their lives on the line that they should not have to worry about their enemy’s powerful dragons because a military diversion has been arranged. “For you eight, all you should face as you rescue the villagers are North Hanguk troops patrolling the border. They will be no match for you.”  So, which is it? And you can pretty much put it in the bank that, besides the Governor’s assurances, there are going to be some dragons!

Yeah! Once the action begins it keeps going right up to the end. The twists and the obstacles our heroes overcome are at once surprising and, for the most part, organic to the story. I was particularly appreciative of the connotation of the monk’s dialogue, “I’ll give you everything I have!”  There is even a clash of philosophies between Christianity and Eastern Religions that plays a central role in the plot’s unscrolling. It’s an adrenaline rush that is unrelenting and don’t be surprised if you end up reading this novelette all the way through in only one sitting. For as Connor McCleod once said in his faux Scottish brogue, "There can be only one."

Available at Amazon