Tina's Reviews > Lord of the Fading Lands

Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson
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's review
Mar 16, 2008

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bookshelves: romance, sff-fantasy
Read in March, 2008

Rain Tairen Soul is The Feyresen, King of the Fey. They are a mystical race that wields magic using elements of earth, water, fire, air and spirit. He is also a Tairen Soul, a shape shifter than can take the shape of one of the fey animals called a Tairen, a winged feline creature.

Rain is centuries old and has a reputation that is sung in legends. During the devastating mage wars with the evil Eld Mages from the North hundreds of years ago, Rain's wife was killed. In a single devastating wave of magical insanity, Rain laid waste to an entire battlefield, killing hundreds of thousands of people.

Now, Rain is confronted with the sad fact that his Fey and the Tairen are dying out. There have been no live births in years. Seeking answers, Rain touches the magical Eye of Truth to learn how to save his people. He is directed to a young human woman who lives in the kingdom of Celieria.

Elysetta Baristani is a simple wood carver's daughter whose life is turned upside down when the legendary Feyresen arrives claiming her as his soul mate. The claim also makes her The Feyreisa, Queen of the Fey. Ellie is catapulted into the nobility and starts learning about life as a Fey queen, much to the dismay of some and the others will try to stop it all costs.

In the midst of the domestic and romantic drama, Rain feels that the Elder Mages are practicing their dark magic and again and thinks they plan to spread their darkness back into he human lands.

If I had to rely on the blurb on the back of this book to give me an idea what this story is about, I'd have been sorely disappointed. I actually picked up this book on two separate occasions and put it down before finally deciding to read it.

I am glad I did. While I had some problems with the book, overall I enjoyed the story and especially the characters. CL Wilson is a totally new author for me so I had no clue as to what I could expect from her, but her writing style is quite accessible and she knows how to create a scene and good readable moments in the course of her narrative.

I liked the Fey peoples. Her warrior caste, her healing caste and the other smallish details of the Fey life were well fleshed out and explained in a non teachy-preachy way. Given the incredible breadth of fantasy work out there, it can be very difficult to inject anything fresh into a fantasy built world. And while there is nothing in this book that breaks any new fantasy ground, Wilson does manage to create a depth to her characters and creations that make it feel fresh.

As mentioned above, I did have problems with the story. First and foremost is the pacing. The book takes place in what is probably a one-week span. And much of it is spent on pre-wedding preparations. There were points when I just wanted the story to move. I kept thinking 'get going already.' The book does not conclude in any way, which is understandable as this is supposed to be a trilogy or more(?), but I think even as a first book of a series there should be some areas of closure, a small skirmish won, anything that lets the book have some self containment. You should still be left with the feeling of a beginning-middle-end even as you are aware that the ultimate conclusion is still forthcoming. This book ends so abruptly with not even the smallest allusion to an ending.

Second, I am so over the big evil just for evil's sake. Dark Mages, Dark magic, Evil who is just doing evil...so what? Why are they doing what they are doing? Having just come off reading the fabulous Warlord trilogy by Jennifer Fallon where her villains have describable motivation, I wanted my next book of fantasy to have more of the same. Sadly, this book does not deliver that. The bad guys are running around creating havoc with no one except Rain the wiser, the humans are clueless, and Rain is making like Cassandra from Greek mythology -- he's warning everyone that the evil mages are back and doing terrible things but no one believes him.

Normally, I'd roll my eyes and give up on the book. But like I said, Wilson's writing is so accessible and she's created such good, deep characters and a plot that is quite good, that I can ignore these things. I just hope the upcoming books deliver on what the first book promises.
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message 1: by Kathrynn (new) - added it

Kathrynn Wow! Nice review. I'm going to mull that over and may pick it up next time I am out and about. Thank you.

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