Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Review - Lord of the Fading Lands

Title: Lord of the Fading Lands
Author: C. L. Wilson
Publishing Date: October 2007
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Warm

Ellysetta Baristani, the adopted daughter in a humble woodcutter's family, has suffered from nightmares ever since she was a child. Now, even as an adult she still has nightmares, but keeps them hidden from her parents. She has always felt different from them, but she tries so hard to fit in, wanting please them.

Rain Tairen Soul, King of the Fey has a vision in the Tairen Eye and sees that Ellie is his Truemate. She will be the savior of his dying people and therefore seeks her out immediately to claim her for his Queen. All this is much easier said than done, because a darkness has been building. What exactly, Rain doesn't know. Rain senses that the Mages or Eld are biding their time and waiting for the right moment to strike. He can't sense them, but deep down he knows something is wrong.

Even though Rain and Ellie are fated as truemates, their love and trust of one another slowly builds over the course of the story. I know many readers dislike this plot device, but Ms. Wilson makes it work within the context of this story. Because Rain has the Tairen inside him he sometimes comes across as more beast than man. He has to have iron control over himself and the Tairen inside so that he doesn't frighten Ellie. She has to come to trust him for them to complete their soul bond. He can't coerce her into trusting him, he has to win it the old fashioned way, by courting her. They spend a lot of time over the course of the story getting to know one another. In the mean time, the boarder disputes are getting bad. Mages are starting to take power and an attack is made on Ellie. This book does not have a conclusive ending. The next book Lady of Light and Shadows picks up where this book leaves off.

Lord of the Fading Lands had an incredible amount of world building and characterization. There are many different characters and the reader is introduced slowly to them. This makes it easy to keep track of who's, who in the zoo. Some are more fully drawn than others. Readers may come to have a soft spot for Bel, the captain of the quintet who is plagued with sorrow. I hope later on in the series he finds his own truemate.

One thing I found confusing was the different races of beings. Sometimes there were two names for same faction. The reader just has to get used to it and let the story unfold. Everything becomes clear about halfway through the story. Also, Ellie came across as very pure and sweet. Almost too sweet for my taste. I saw this as a weakness, but I am curious to see if she grows more throughout the series. Going from a woodcutter's daughter to a Queen is sure to challenge anyone.

Here is what others had to say:

Book Minx
Dear Author
Sula's Space
The Good, The Bad, The Unread
Aneca's World


Katiebabs a.k.a KB said...

This was my favorite book of 2007. Love live The Fading Lands!
I want a Rain to ride on.

Christine said...

I'm so glad you liked this one, Jill. I agree that the author does an exceptional job at building Rain and Ellie's relationship at a realistic pace despite the fated truemate part. Their relationship isn't *poof!* Perfect! ... and they lived happily ever after. They really have to work at it and respect it.

I think part of what made me love this book (and the series) so much was that it felt very epic in scale.

Tracy said...

Great review. I loved this book and want everyone to read it! lol

I'm with Christine - as great as the fated pairing is, the author still showed conflict and the need to get to know each other and grow. It's part of why I love Wilson's writing.

Marg said...

I REALLY need to hurry up and read this!

Jill D. said...

Christine, Epic is a great word to describe the essence of the book. The world building and external conflict with the mages felt very large in scale.

Tracy, you were another reader, that influenced me into picking this up. Thank you very much!

Marg, I would be curious to see what you think of it. Especially, since you read so many books outside of the romance genre. I know you read a lot of historical fiction. Do you also read any straight fantasy?

Marg said...

I do, but I haven't really read a lot lately. Historical Fiction and Romance are really my first loves, then with a bit of everything else.