Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Title: Lord of the Fading Lands
Author: C. L. Wilson
Publishing Date: October 2007
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.
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