REVIEW: Lady of Light and Shadow by C.L. Wilson
Dear Ms. Wilson:
I see how you are and I can’t say I like it very much. Do you honestly think it is fair to write compelling stories without a resolution and then expect a reader to wait an entire year for the next installation?
Lord of the Fading Lands left us with Ellysetta Baristani and Rain Tairen Soul dealing with the ramifications that Ellysetta, a common woodcutter’s daughter, is the truemate for Rain Tairen and integral to the salvation of the Fey.
Ellie is the adopted daughter of a tradesman. She is different from her family in that she has small magics. Upon the arrival of Rain Tairen Soul, she discovers that her magics aren’t small at all and that she must learn to control and wield her power. But each use of her power is accompanied by dark feelings. She is haunted by visions and nightmares of a terrible evil overcoming her and wonders if the use of her power is actually evil instead of good.
Rain Tairen Soul is single minded. He wants to claim Ellysetta as his truemate and spirit her off to the Fading Lands. He cares not for the human world and chastises the human king for allowing any kind of trade with the Eld who he knows to be evil. Rain is forced to recognize that his own selfishness and myopia has placed both humans and Fey in great danger. In failing to maintain a strong presence in Celieria, the absence has been filled by the Eld. The Eld are slowly pervading the city engaging in small power grabs to overtake the world.
The Eld have placed people in key spots, infiltrating the Celierian society at the highest levels. They are fomenting suspicion against the Fey and those closest to Ellysetta become tools in the battle for her as the Eld realize her importance to the strength of the Fey.
Even worse, the leader of the dahl reisen, the outcast and mad Fey, believe Ellysetta to be a danger to the Fey and he sets out to destroy her. It seems improbable that one woman can withstand the threat of the dalh reisen and the Eld, particularly one who is not Fey herself.
Ellysetta is a woman with a secret past and Lady of Light and Shadow peals away the mystery page by page allowing the reader to savor the worldbuilding. Ellysetta’s secret, her position as a truemate, her unbelievable power, is all explained brilliantly and in keeping with the world construct. It was clear that this was carefully plotted out and while I couldn’t have guesssed it, the clues were there for the savvy reader.
I loved the way in which you played on the truemate theme. Neither Ellysetta nor Rain were in love, although that is the ultimate conclusion to their relationship. They had to learn to trust each other and learn their place in each other’s lives. You showed us through other characters how devastating the truemate bond could be, driving characters to engage in humiliating and painful acts, causing heartrending pain when truemates are not allowed to be together. The truemate bond ideally has a dark side and you weren’t afraid to show that to us.
The weakness in this book is that it cannot stand alone. Reading this one without having read Lord of the Fading Lands would be very difficult. I also thought that the beginning was a bit slow when we were reintroduced to many characters.
When I closed this book, I was given a happy for now with Ellysetta and Rain but many obstacles remain for them and for the characters that were spotlighted. I hated reading the last page of this story and some of the parts still haunt me weeks after I first read them. Please write faster. It’s not fair to your readers to keep them hanging like this. A-
This book can be purchased in mass market .