Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Book Review: Queen of Song and Souls

Queen of Song and Souls (Tairen Soul #4)
Published By: Avon
Publication Date: September 2010
Page Count: 416
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Adult - Fantasy Romance

Queen of Song and Souls opens with a shorter retelling of the ending of King of Sword and Sky's battle sequence, and told more from Lillis's point of view.  And then we jump right over to another facet of the battle and Ellysetta now joining the other shei'dalins in healing the wounded following the last epic battle.  

Ellysetta has come a long way from the beginning of this series.  She is much better at controlling her magic and powers and is finally able to be of some help, which she embraces only too well.  However, her strong will to help others negates her better judgement again and again, which gets her, and inevitably Rain, into trouble. 
Many of the questions that Ellysetta needed to know of her origins are finally realized in Queen of Song and Souls.  We learn (or for some of us who suspected, it is confirmed) who are Ellysetta's biological parents, how she got her tairen, and how is it that she is so powerful.  Ellie also learns she has a greater purpose than just saving the Tairen kitlings and the fey from extinction.
While several major characters were sort of absent from this installment (and I missed them terribly), we also met the Elves of Elvia.  This race, closely related to the fey, are seers and deeply spiritual, and are long-lived like the fey.  They are tall and slender with pointed tips to their ears, and have a goldish lustre to their skin versus the silvery luminesence of the fey.  While similar to the fey in many ways... both races have strong differences that serves as a source of friction.  The Elves look at an individual's role in the world as their "song"... and how their song relates to the gods' wills (known as the Dance).  Like someone who can prophesize, they see possibilities or variations and interpret and witness, without influencing coming events.  Whereas the fey are champions... fighters... for the Light.  You can imagine the frustrations they encounter with each other.
Meanwhile, Vadim is growing weaker in his current shell... grotesquely described... and desperately needs Ellysetta so he can continue in his diabolical plan of conquering the world.  Just when you think you can't feel more loathing for this "man"... you are surely proven wrong.
Ellysetta & Rain's continuing journey to completing the truemate bond (shei'tanitsa) is slowly progressing (by Rain's standards, although he is not pushing Ellysetta).  When you look back at where they started a short time ago... and where they are now... it's amazing how utterly in-tuned they are to each other in such a relatively short time... but they're not quite there yet.  And they've got the added pressure of getting to that "finish line" in completing the bond to not only save Ellysetta from being claimed by the Mages (as she's got 4 of the 6 needed Mage marks), but now Rain is showing signs of the bond madness, and it's being accelerated by the battles they encounter along the way.

Ellysetta & Rain's romance offers the respite needed to get through these extremely bleak and heady situations... and their physical relationship continues to sizzle.  They both seem to be more comfortable in their relationship with each other, and even have some pretty intense disagreements... as both are very strong willed.  They also have some sweet banter and are most definitely each other's source of strength.  And what I truly love about Ellysetta is that she stands up for what she believes in and is not afraid to go against the grain.  

We also have the heart-breaking side-bar relationship between Talisa and Adrial, another truemate bonding that has huge challenges of their own.  

And I have to interject before finishing up here by saying that I absolutely adore Master Fellows in this installment!

There is so much to talk about from this book, but it's difficult without providing spoilers so I'll have to leave it at this.  So... ambivalently, I'm off to read the fifth and final book in this very awesome series... I'm just very sorry that it's coming to an end.  I've been immersed in this world for about a month now and it will feel strange once it's done.  I do hope that Cheryl continues to write more from this series.

Only Together Could They Lead Their People To Victory . . . 
The magical tairen were dying, and none but the Fey King's bride could save them. Rain had defied the nobles of Celieria to claim her, battled demons and Elden mages to wed her. Now, he would risk everything to protect his kingdom, help his truemate embrace her magic and forge the unbreakable bond that alone could save her soul.

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