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Elfland (Aetherial Tales #1)

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  781 ratings  ·  157 reviews
Elfland is an intimate, sensual novel of people—both human and Aetherial—caught between duty and desire. It’s a story of families, and of Rose Fox, a woman born to magic but tormented by her place in her adopted world.

Led by Auberon Fox, a group of Aetherials—call them the Fair Folk, if you will—live among us, indistinguishable from humans. Every seven years, on the Night
Kindle Edition, 464 pages
Published May 25th 2010 by Tor Books (first published August 12th 2009)
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Cross Elizabeth Hand with Fire and Hemlock, and you might end up with something like Freda Warrington's Elfland. This is the kind of big, sweeping modern faerie tale that you don't see often on the adult shelves anymore. There's been some beautiful work done in YA recently, but in the adult realm, the trend has been away from novels like this. And that's a shame. Elfland is complex, rich, sensual, beautifully written, and sometimes heartbreaking.

I devoured Elfland. I carried it with me everywher
Attention anyone who attends Faeriecon, *loves* imagination, fairy tales and myth, or just wants a reminder of the wonder you felt as a child: run, don't walk, to your library or book store and pick up the novel Elfland by Freda Warrington.

I found this book on Amazon by doing a semi-regular search for Kinuko Craft. She contributed the cover art to this novel by a British author that was first released in America last year. (Warrington has written 20-some novels, but this is her first one availa
Carla *Jen7waters*
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
(originally reviewed on starmetal oak book blog)

The novel starts off interestingly enough: we're introduced to Rosie Fox as a young girl whose family is from the fairy realm, accessed through the Gates. These Gates are closed to them by Lawrence, another Aetherial, due to his belief of evil lurking on the other side, ready to escape.

Through the next 200 pages or so, we grow up with Rosie and her family and all the drama that goes with it. It reminded me of a soap opera, where all the character
I liked Elfland a lot! It is a complex, emotional story full of beautiful descriptions and memorable characters. This fantasy is set in the modern day in the romantically ancient Charnwood Forest region of England, but although it is contemporary, its tone is very different from a lot of urban fantasy.

The primary characters in the book are Aetherials, beings of an ancient race that live among humans on Earth. They are normally able to travel into another world, the Spiral, and reconnect with th
May 12, 2011 Carol. rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: PNR readers
Someone characterized this as more of a 'family drama,' and I'd have to agree. What made it the most interesting is that it's about elves (in colloquial), and I can't say I've read a book before that was from a high faerie perspective in urban fantasy. That in itself kept me going, along with the love story and the mystery of the Gates, and why they can't be opened.

I struggled at times, especially in the beginning, when we are hopping around the timeline, from the Rosie-now to scenes from her c
It’s hard not to judge a book by its cover when the cover is as beautiful as this. Especially when, as you read along, you discover that the imagery isn’t just there merely for aesthetic value, but actually does reflect the story itself.

For me, slipping into Elfland was like overhearing bits of an intriguing conversation. I sort of knew what the conversation was about, and was enticed to learn more as Warrington allowed me into this secret world of Aetherials – fae creatures living along side us
Any words would be inadequate to describe how much I enjoyed this gorgeous, amazing book. This author keeps reminding me of why I got into British fantasy and sci-fi at an early age.

I don't know if that unique tradition that evolved from Spenser's Faerie Queen volumes is here or not. But for darn sure, the magic, the mysticism, the beauty, and the innovation is there. All the characters are amazing.

This is a book about the elves living in OUR world and what they become by adapting to human rea
Elfland had compelling characters, some beautiful prose and a fascinating world. The fantasy aspect of the story does mostly take a backseat to the characters and their dramas, but their story made this book nearly impossible to put down – even if it did sometimes verge toward a little too much melodrama. It was one of those books that immediately gripped me and never let go until it was finished. It kept me up reading later than I should be and kept returning to my thoughts when I wasn’t readin ...more
Branwen *Blaidd Drwg*
Atherials (elves/faeries/gods, what have you) have been living among us as humans for a long long time. They are beautiful and mysterious creatures. Rosie Fox, along with her two brothers and parents are one such family. On a special night every seven years the Night of thr Summer Stars takes place, and Aetherials can pass through the Gates and travel to the Other world. But the Gatekeeper, Laurence Wilder, has been keeping the Gate sealed shut, determined that there is an evil being in the Othe ...more
I was lucky enough to read an early version of this, and I was blown away. It's a genuinely unique mixture of genres - a richly detailed and convincing family novel, a truly magical fantasy novel set in contemporary England, and a really breathtaking romance novel with incredible chemistry between the heroine and the bad-boy hero. I've never read another novel quite like it, and I LOVED it. I can't wait to buy a paper copy as soon as the book is officially published, and I REALLY can't wait for ...more
This book surprised me by how much I enjoyed it. Good urban fantasy with some unique ideas. Read my full review here:
Barbara ★
The premise of the book is that the Aetherials live on Earth but periodically need access to the Otherworld through the Gates to rejuvenate. Lawrence Wilder (Jon and Sam's father) is terrified of some Otherworld monster who he feels will kill him and his sons if released so he closes the Gates and refuses to reopen them. Years and years pass with sporadic complaints from the Aetherials who don't understand why Lawrence has closed the Gates. Yet no one's dying though some of the Otherworld animal ...more
I was swaying a little more towards a 3 star rating because I made the huge mistake of checking the back page to see if it was actually the end of the book or the end of an excerpt from an upcoming book, trying to determine how much I had left to read. In doing so I read something that kind of killed the ending for me. Arrrrrgggghhhhhhhh! So therefore I'm going with the 4 it would have gotten had I not been a dumbass. I liked this book a lot!

This was a family drama based on the lives of two neig
How did I never write a review for this?

Once upon a time urban fantasy meant books about struggling artists (usually musicians) living normal lives in the Real World who suddenly have surprising magical things happen to them and end up involved with faerie courts and saving the world (or at least their city) from evil. If one starts from that definition of urban fantasy -- well, this is not urban fantasy. This is a novel English middle-class village life a la Angela Thirkell (or Miss Read), exce
Mt full review: http://coffeecookiesandchilipeppers.b...

I have read quite a lot of fantasy, and would count myself as a fan of the genre, so I was looking forward to this unusual version of the fairy / elf world. The Aetherials’ Spiral, their history and culture are fascinating, as are the parallel versions of Earth that they can access. However, I felt that we spent far too little time exploring that aspect of the story. Instead, most of the book is given over to the family dramas that surround
Nancy O'Toole
very seven years, the Aetherials say goodbye to their human lives, and cross over into the Other World for a night. That is until the Gatekeeper, Lawrence Wilder, refuses to open the doors again. He claims that this must be done for safety's sake but refuses to fully explain why, leaving many feeling frustrated and angry. Years past, and Lawrence leaves the gates closed shut. This decision impacts everyone, including young Rosie Fox, who struggles to find a balance between a human and Aetherial ...more
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
Technically, Elfland is urban fantasy, but forget everything you normally associate with that phrase; this is a family drama with a fairy tale or two in its ancestry. A bit like a contemporary Juliet Marillier.

The book centers on two families in small-town England: both have children, who begin the book as teenagers but quickly grow into young adults. Both families are “Aetherial,” meaning they have otherworldly origins, but have chosen to live on Earth--and now find themselves stuck there. But
Still working on catching up on the “Women of…” challenges! This (last) month’s “Women of Fantasy” book was Elfland by Freda Warrington. Take a moment to consider the cover of the book, if you will. More dedicated readers of fantasy will recognize this as the artwork of Kinyuko Y. Craft, whose work is perhaps most easily recognized on the covers of many of the novels of Patricia McKillip, and now the Wildwood books of Juliet Marillier as well.

The reason I feel the need to explain this to you, de
Supernatural Fairy Tales
Frieda Warrington's Elfland draws the reader into an English landscape full of ancient mysticism, hidden magic, the Aetherials, who appear human but whose blood comes from Elfland. Rosie Fox, who is just beginning to respond to her Aetherial heritage in the beginning of the book, draws the reader into the corners to peer in wonder at the creatures revealed. It is this heavy and slantwise view of the Elfland of the Aetherials that first catches the attention. As Rosie shifts in age and perception ...more
Heather Perkins
I don't know how to describe exactly how I feel about this book. I enjoyed it, I know that. It was an interesting story line that I felt compelled to read to find out what happened. But once I was done it just faded and didn't really stick with me. It's not a book I would go back to and read again if I found I had the urge to read something and wanted a book I had already read to fall back on. I would recommend it to other fantasy fans of slightly dark and gritty fantasy that wanted something to ...more
This author appears to have. Never, learned how. To write a sentence. And it gets. Really, really, tiresome. After a while. Just like, this. ( although in a couple of places it creates unintentional laughs).

Banal, uninspired prose punctuated with improbable sex scenes and awkward dialogue didn't help encourage me to finish reading. I confess to having abandoned "Elfland" midway. I enjoy the concept of the faerie realm intruding into the "real" world, and authors like Emma Bull and Patricia McKi
Overall, I thought this was an interesting way to mix the world of fantasy with the modern world. The lines between what makes a being human or a fairy are blurry and blurrable (at least from the fairy side). An Aetherial being (as they are called in the book) can blend in with humans no problem - their true selves only show in other realms or to other Aetherials. They can also choose to reject their otherworldly side and forget about their race's history and powers, and become essentially human ...more
I picked this up based on the strength of Charles de Lint's recommendation on the cover, and it was a very good read indeed! There were a couple of moments in the beginning that were a bit exposition heavy, but Warrington's lyrical writing more than made up for it. Initially I was little put off by her mythology of the faeries (as I prefer faerie stories based on faerie lore), but once I embraced it I was really drawn into the lives of the characters. Overall an addictive read.
This is a beautifully written book and a page turner to boot about the destiny of two intertwined families of "Aetherials" in modern England

It is also a mixture of contemporary family drama which veers slightly in soap opera territory but overall stays on the "reasonable" side and haunting fantastic in the Elfland domains which co-exist with Earth, but are accessible only by the Aetherials, mixture that works quite well here

Summary: The gates to the Spiral (or the Otherworld) have been closed. Earth dwelling Aetherials are furious with the gatekeeper for blocking them from their natural home. But for the sons and daughters who have never seen the Spiral, life must go on. They are torn between living out their human lives or searching for something more.

My Thoughts: I was drawn into Warrington’s modernized fairy world by her ability to create a hidden magical world. A world that exists in layers and only certain peo
I really enjoyed reading this book, which for some reason surprised me. (I don't know why!)
I found the beginning to be a bit clunky and all over the place, but I really got sucked into it after the first 150 pages or so. The descriptive ways in which the author describes the environments and transformations of the 'Aetherials' was quite mesmerising at times. I completely immersed myself in the story.

There were parts that I found a bit infuriating, but that could be said for the interactions of p
3.5 stars

It feels like a loose modern adaptation of Wuthering Heights with a teaspoon of magical elements and some sprinkle of pagan folklore. I’m tempted to compare it to the work of the Chinese romance novelist Qiong Yao in terms of tone and plot maneuver. In spite of her tender writing, her stories often deliver an intricate weaving of angst, woes and pains—that at times feel meaningless and incessant—prior to a relieving closure. I loved her books, but I felt weary of them in the long run. E
I am conflicted on this book and on writing this review. The writing is solid. The characters are well developed, imperfect, and interesting to spend time with. The setting is wonderful, a touch of England with a fantastical flare that is fascinating to read, it made me want to visit and linger. The concept is awesome, I love how Warrington created the Aetherials, explored their diversity, their similarity to humankind but also their sometimes marked differences, and the rivalry even amongst the ...more
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Freda Warrington is a British author, known for her epic fantasy, vampire and supernatural novels.

Her earliest novels, the Blackbird series, were written and published when she was just finishing her teen years; in the intervening years she has seen numerous stand-alone novels and a trilogy published. (The original Blackbird series has recently been put back into print by Immanion Press.) Four of
More about Freda Warrington...

Other Books in the Series

Aetherial Tales (3 books)
  • Midsummer Night (Aetherial Tales, #2)
  • Grail of the Summer Stars (Aetherial Tales, #3)
Midsummer Night (Aetherial Tales, #2) A Taste of Blood Wine Dracula the Undead Grail of the Summer Stars (Aetherial Tales, #3) Dark Cathedral (Dark Cathedral, #1)

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“Rosie, maybe I'm a masochist, but I think the world of you. You're the most beautiful girl I've ever seen and you've got no idea. You think it's any fun for me to sit here being loathed by you? I'm in love with you.” 6 likes
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