*Warning: Contains minor spoilers*
Lady of Light and Shadows in the second book in C.L. Wilson’s Tairen Soul series and takes off pretty much where Lord of the Fading Lands left us. It follows the aftermath of the psychic assault on Ellie, and Ellie’s accidental amorous spell on the court (much to her embarrassment). Both of which have had larger implications than either she or Rain could have realised.
This novel is much more political than the last one, as the Fey manoeuvre through the Celierian Lords in an attempt to prevent them from opening the border to the Eld Mages. With most of Celieria skeptical about whether they are still dark, and the long-lived Fey with no doubt as to their danger.
I found the first half of the book quite slow going. I love Rain and Ellie, but I found some of the scenes between them too slow and saccharine. Perhaps it was the fact I was listening to this as an audiobook, but the dream sequence sex scenes weren’t to my taste. All a little bit too much 1970s Mills and Boon for my liking.
But, then came the second half of the book, and I was reminded why I loved the first so very much. The pace of the story jumped immensely, the political games and deadly intent of the Eld began to unfold. You had a hint of where things were going to go, but not quite how and it was like you were on a roller-coaster, knowing that deadly descent was looming in the distance.
Things were helped greatly by the introduction of a new character – Gaelen, also known as The Dark Lord and I have to say he kind of stole the show. His redemption via Ellie, the darkness in his soul, the fact that he’s willing to do things the other Fey refuse to do. Quite frankly he scored pretty high on both the sexy and cool-o-meter.
There’s an unexpected twist in terms of Ellie’s parentage. But I can’t really say anymore on that subject! But I do hope that it gets resolved as the series progresses. Up until now Rain has been the unflappable Knight in shining armour, but in Lady of Light and Shadows I felt that he really let Ellie down. My heart broke for her, and I wanted to give him a serious slap. Of course every romance needs that scary moment when you think everything is going to unravel, but I do believe that Ellie should have made him grovel rather more!
I think it would fair to say the theme of this novel appeared to be betrayal. And poor Ellie certainly sees a lot of it in this book as corruption seeps into the very heart of the city. Rain, her mother, her best friend. The poor woman faces it on all sides, all from people she loves. It’s hard because Ellie is just so innocent, she’s not a natural fighter, but I did like it that she began to grow some teeth in this book. I suspect after the end of the book she’s going to need it.
A slow start, but a great ending which meant that by the end of the book I was already looking forward to getting my hands on the next one. Lady of Light and Shadows mixes a rich fantasy setting, with a lovely romance, some interesting fae magic, political intrigue and I have to give a particular mention to the Dark Lord himself, can I see more of him please?
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
- Lord of the Fading Lands
- Lady of Light and Shadows
- King of Sword and Sky
- Queen of Song and Soul
- Crown of Crystal Flame
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