Title: Lady of Light and Shadows
Author: CL Wilson
Review number: 21
Genre: Romance/ Fantasy
Stand alone/series: Book two of Tairen Soul series
Summary: Since her earliest memories, Ellysetta Baristani has feared magic, even as she has been inexorably drawn to all things Fey, especially the poetry and legends of Rain Tairen Soul. Now claimed as Rain’s truemate and no longer able to deny her own magic, Ellysetta is swept into the very center of a struggle filled with the magic and darkness she has always feared. The High Mage of Eld wants to capture her. The most murderous dahl’reisen who ever lived wants her dead. And her enemies will corrupt even the people she loves most in their quest to claim her magic for themselves.
Why did I read this book: Because book one is one the best books I ever read and my first rated 10 review.
Holy.Guacamole! Lady of Light and Shadows is teh awesome. I think it is even better than Lord of the Fading Lands, amazing as it sounds, given how much I raved about book 1!
Book 2 of Tairen Soul series, it starts in the morning after Lord of the Fading Lands’ final chapter. To be honest , I thought the book started quite wobbly on its feet as it appeared that the author wanted to catch us up on what happened before – so all characters were talking to each other, explaining the happenings over the past few days in Celieria and my patience was running thin as I had literally finished book 1 ten minutes before. But that went on only for a few pages and then BOOM BOOM BOOM, a rollercoaster of emotions and events until the very last page.
In this book, Rain and Ellie must carry on with their courtship whilst the intrigues and machinations of the Mage still threaten them and the Fey. But now we also add to the equation , the Council of Celieria who must come to a decision about opening its borders or not to the Eld, a Dark Lord that is bent on destroying Ellie (he has his reasons, ok?) plus a lot of emotional showdowns between not only Ellie and Rain, but Ellie and her mother that lead to a climax that is worthy of a Hollywood production.
I cannot even begin to describe how much this book is gripping and how I could not keep myself from turning the pages compulsively until I was done with it. I refuse to tell you more about the plot or how things turn out , not because I am mean but because believe me, you want to follow the same exciting path I did.
But I will be good and give you some teasers of what you can expect (with the accompanying emotion):
We learn about Ellie’s origins (whoa!) , more about Fey magic and History (cool!) , a warrior finds his soul (*teary*), another finds a truemate (yuppie) but she is married (oh noes), there are lots of political chit chat (quite interesting), a major showdown between Mage and Fey (holy crap, that was beyond exhilarating), we learn about the “pets” kept by the High Mage (heartbreaking. Literally, I cried my eyes out here ). Plus, there is a wedding and a few funerals.
And it ends with Rain coming to an important realisation which I guess I HAVE to spoil because it was so amazing. Fellow romance lovers, rejoice:
(…)’I only just realised something I should have known all along.’ He carried her hands to his chest, then cupped her face with one hand while wrapping the other around her waist. He held her close, skin to skin, so that with her shei’dalin senses she would feel for herself the wonder that bloomed within him.
“From this day forward, no matter what happens between us – even if we never complete our bond, even if we cannot save the tairen or the Fey – I want you to know this one thing, Ellysetta Baristini” He smiled into her eyes and gave her the words.
“My heart has followed where my soul has led. Ke vo san, Ellysetta. I love you”.
There are less romantic scenes in this sequel (as the story centres in the tensions between the peoples and the inner battles of every character) but they are all deep and significant like the one above.
And everything I said before about Wilson’s writing and characterisation still stand of course. The woman is seriously very talented and creative.
If only I could weave some magic and show you how much these books are good, I am sure you would be going to the book shop pronto. If only.
One last word: the last time I was this excited about a series, I was reading His Dark Materials trilogy, about three years ago. And when this comes to an end I am prepared to shed copious tears, just like the ones I shed when I closed the last Harry Potter on July 22nd , 10:17pm.
Notable quotes/ parts: the last 80 pages or so are non-stop action – a battle between good and evil which is only a taste of what is to come, I am certain. This is when we learn who Ellie truly is and what she is capable of. A lot of people die on both sides but the ones on the good are much more relevant, which I found was pretty gutsy.
I LOVE love love every sequence with Gaelen vel Serranis.
Additional thoughts: I am supposed to wait until October for book 3? *gasps* But then again, I AM a Harry Potter orphan and there is nothing like the thrill of an approaching release date. Yes, yes I can see how this can be good, I can cope with that. There is only what? 1,2,3,….8 MONTHS left?! *faints*
Verdict: need I say more?
Rating: 10. One of the best books I read. No shadow of a doubt.
Reading Next: A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh