Born from the fertile volcanic soil and the sea and mists surrounding the Azorean islands, the characters who inhabit these stories blend realism with magic. Like the nine Muses, each island has its own special attributes. Whether searching for love, power, or meaning, these characters are subject to the whims of Fate and Fortune. Here the commonplace present confronts forces both natural and supernatural. In the Azorean microcosm, they come to represent a far larger sphere, embodying the foibles and idiosyncrasies of humanity the world over.
"Kastin's captivating stories are beautifully crafted, transporting readers on these strange journeys...In this stellar show of magical realism, the supernatural is accepted as fact by characters who observe or encounter it. An extremely impressive blend of escapism and portraiture of the human condition, following in the footsteps of Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel GarcÃa Márquez."—Kirkus Reviews
"The Conjurer, yes, indeed. This is a rare book in which the title is not only descriptive of one of the characters, but even more appropriately and indelibly describes the author. This collection of tales, rich with mystifying but vivifying paranormal experiences; the kind that generates legends, reminds us again that this author earns close attention—and rewards close attention. Connoisseurs of compelling story-telling will find much to cherish here, including the convincing gift of meticulous observation, and invariably authentic dialogue."—JB Kennedy, Easy Reader
"The mysticism that lies within the land draws us to it. The Conjurer & Other Azorean Tales is a collection of short fiction surrounding the Azorean Islands and the island's certain beauty and majesty, and the wisdom that seems to float about it. Drawing on the naturally supernatural, The Conjurer & Other Azorean Tales is an enticing collection of short fiction, very much recommended reading."—Midwest Book Review
"Beyond the beautiful and unexpected images, the narrator has left behind clues of his self, his worlds and his soul, expressing that which only the best literature is able to do: a whole philosophy of life, a whole aesthetic of a different mode of being and existing, the certainty that only love and beauty can save us in the face of the primordial and perpetual chaos that surrounds us. Kastin seems to understand better than most what a literature of identity claims to do and communicate."—Vamberto Freitas, Açoriano Oriental
"The Conjurer & Other Azorean Tales leaves the reader privy to the secrets of the local residents...witches borrow boats from unsuspecting fishermen, bones of sailors lost at sea miraculously return years later to comfort lonely widows, and beautiful women feel more connected to the mysterious depths of the sea than to their own families. The stories are captivating and haunting. For any lover of fairy tales and questioner of life beyond the grave, this compilation is an absolute joy, flawless in both selection and delivery."—San Francisco and Sacramento Book Review