By: C.L. Wilson
Published By: Avon
Publication Date: September 2010
Page Count: 467
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Adult - Fantasy
You know what I hate about completing this book?? I'm now past the half-way point in this series. Only two books left, and I'll be so sad when it's all over. *sniff*
King of Sword and Sky continues its rich story-telling, wonderful character development, and we finally get to meet the Tairen. What awesome creatures they are... and by awesome I mean, magnificent, enormous, highly intelligent and fiercely protective of their pride. These huge winged big cats can be gentle as a kitten or ferocious as a hungry tiger. If I had any doubt that Ellysetta would not be welcomed by the Tairen... that would have been a foolish thought. I have to say that my favourite Tairen character, other than Rain, is Steli-Chakai. She quickly develops a strong bond with Ellysetta... akin to an adoptive mother-figure, which was so endearing. Steli also has a wonderful personality, as they can converse (telepathically) with other fey, and through that dialogue, her character really shines.
In King of Sword and Sky, Ellysetta matures by leaps and bounds... both in her womanhood and confidence, as well as in her magical powers and how to control and harness them. Her quest to control her magic doesn't often go very smoothly most of the time, but there are some accomplishments, too. But as we witnessed at the end of book two, her powers are vast and can be explosive so it is imperative she hones her magical skills so she can do what has been asked of her.
Ellysetta is supposed to save the Tairen, and thus, the fey, as was prophesied by the Eye of Truth in book one. She, of course, has her doubts about how she is to accomplish this... and all the while, some of the fey are very distrustful of Ellysetta's presence in The Fading Lands, because she is Mage-marked and extremely powerful. Similar to the battle Rain had on his hands with the Celierian Lords, Rain has to convince the council of fey that help govern The Fading Lands (the Massan) that Ellysetta is actually their saviour.
The other component of this story is the continuing bond developing between Rain and Ellysetta. Their love is simply breathtaking. Their relationship grows at a fast pace, but in many ways, not fast enough for Rain as the shei'tanitsa, truemate bond, has yet to be completed, which is essential or Rain (or any male fey to be truemated) would go mad. And for Ellysetta, once they are truemated, her soul cannot be claimed by anyone else, and most importantly, by the Mage. Their quest to complete their bond only strengthens with each intimate moment and coincidently strengthens Ellie's own inner-tairen. Ellysetta, being Rain's true equal, has to come to terms that she is capable of being his truemate. At times, it is frustrating for Rain because he sees that Ellysetta still has so many doubts about herself... and it is his *job* to pull what he knows lies within her facade, so that she can complete the bond. But in many more subtle ways, she already is (his equal)... she has incredible inner strength and tenacity that would rival Rain's physical strength.
However, we also soon realize, along with Rain, that it is necessary for him to *grow* too... as his demons, and maybe more importantly his own insecurities on his ability to lead the fey, are also obstacles for which have to be overcome before the bond can be completed. But in this installment, there is huge progression on both their parts... and being along for the ride is quite wonderful to witness.
I still love how the fey just relate to each other... it's not without their own problems and idiocies... but they are simply just... there are no words... they are very a unique "people", and you have to read this story to fully understand what I'm trying to say.
Evil turns it up a HUGE notch, however, and I will admit that some of the torture is very hard to get through. My heart breaks for all those who are held captive by Vadim Maur. He is the epitome of evil... and just when you think it can't get any worse... it unfortunately does. But it is necessary to evoke the right emotions in the reader... so in that light, I read through those terrible scenes without skimming.
Once again... the emotions being pulled out of me while I read through this series has me zinging in so many ways... it's an addiction to continue reading at every opportunity I can. The ending of this installment has some wonderful and triumphant moments, while also having some heart-breaking and heart-stopping scenes as well. Saying I could not put it down is an understatement!
The Third Chapter in C. L. Wilson's Breathtaking Epic Tale of Magic, Passion, and Destiny
One passion could unite them.
One enemy could destroy them.
Rain, the proud and haunted Fey King, risked everything to follow his heart and his destiny to Ellysetta--his truemate, his love, the woodcarver's daughter who possessed miraculous gifts she did not understand. He defied the nobles of Celieria to claim her, battled demons and Elden mages to wed her. And now he must protect her--and his imperiled kingdom--with magic, steel, and scorching flame. For his soul-kin, the magical tairen, are dying, and only the Fey King's bride can save them . . . if Rain can help his beloved embrace the magic within her and forge the unbreakable bond of passion and power necessary to save her soul.