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Ekstasis, the Return of the Sovereign Heart, by M. I. Dugast, is a novel that focuses on two different stories. One story is a product of metaliterature as there is a book in the book. On one side, David Wilkins is reading “Maps to the Sovereign Heart,” written by Mona Devek, and finds his life completely changed by reading the book. On the other side is the protagonist of the book Ericka, who goes through a lot in her life, dealing with her inner spiritual journey, nightmares from the past, and encounters with “The Elders,” her Spirit Guides.

Dugast writes in a quite descriptive and engaging way, helping the reader not get lost between multiple flashes forwards and backward by giving a place and date at the beginning of new chapters. The only down point is that the passage from Ericka’s adventures to David reading the book breaks the narrative tensions that had naturally formed while reading the book.

I appreciated the ties and interconnection between the two stories, making them feel like the same story and adding more depth to both. Furthermore, the connection between the ending, where Kadmon meets the Elders again, and the beginning, where he leaves them to go on a journey, feels particularly important after getting emotionally attached to the characters all book long.

Destiny, fate, reincarnation, and free will, are all themes readers will encounter in this novel. However, Dugast has woven them into a magical story that will leave readers stunned and catch their breath as they realize the intertwined lives of the fictional character are to the protagonist reading the story. The blurred lines of where one character’s life ends and the other begins will keep readers hooked, seeing how things all meet up and if the lines are entirely erased to create a new path they will take together.

Ekstasis, the Return of the Sovereign Heart, by M. I. Dugast, has an engaging metaphysical romance story and multiple plot twists that will have readers craving for more from the moment they first open the book. I recommend this novel to all readers looking for an interesting read and keen on knowing more about spiritual journeys and people overcoming their past traumas.

Pages: 810 | ASIN : B09NQRMRQX

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