In an interview at the back of Sinister Motives, Barbara Kesel describes the CrossGen universe as a Buckmister Sphere: “a round shape built of interlocking triangles.” The individual titles (The First, Meridian, Scion, Sojourn, Mystic, and many others) are points on the sphere where readers access the stories, but each story is connected to the others to form one marvelously complex world. Of all the CrossGen titles, The First seems to intersect most with the other tales. Since the First consider themselves the gods of the universe, they’re prone to popping up in other stories whenever they feel like it. Little by little, forces from those other worlds are beginning to affect their own. Each volume of the series reveals another hint of powers older and stronger than the First, and with each new hint it becomes clear that The First may hold the key to all the mysteries of the GrossGen universe. Readers may find themselves rushing off to consult other series in the hopes of guessing what CrossGen has in store.
If you’re reading The First on its own, you’ll still find plenty to chew on in Sinister Motives. The arrogant Seahn brings the conflict in House Dexter to a head, challenging Pyrem for its leadership. As the battle shifts to House Sinister, Seahn’s true nature is revealed. Meanwhile, Persha finds the object of her quest (who’s hiding out in another story!) and a lot more questions for her trouble. If Altwaal won’t help her, can she reunite the two houses herself? Guided by the mysterious Enson and Wyture, Seahn and Persha both have the potential to revolutionize the First. Whose vision will succeed? And what will happen when the two instigators meet? The questions raised in Sinister Motives will leave readers itching for the next volume. Kesel has created a web of characters and subplots intricate enough to challenge the cleverest fantasy fans.