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The Morning Star

by Nick Bantock

Vancouver writer, artist, and book designer Nick Bantock closes the six-book saga of Griffin and Sabine with The Morning Star. As with the previous books, Bantock invites readers into Griffin and Sabine’s mytho-symbolic world through the lovers’ correspondence with each other and, in the concluding three books, with lovers Isabelle de Reims and Matthew Sedon. Once again Bantock’s evocative and gloriously illustrated postcards and envelopes serve a dual purpose: through sheer visual thrill they draw the reader into the story, while also answering the ongoing mystery of what has happened to Griffin and Sabine. As the four characters draw together to confront a malevolent force, the unfolding story adds to the intricate layers of the former books.

One of the joys of Bantock’s highly symbolic work is that it allows readers from any spiritual or emotional background to bring their own interpretation to the story. Unfortunately, this concluding chapter has too many questions to answer. The climax rushes on in a heady fervour, only to end far too suddenly. While the ending does answer some of the questions raised in the series, it still leaves endless possibilities open and a mystery to be explored. The Morning Star is a mostly satisfying conclusion to a decade’s worth of Jungian mysticism and breathless romance.