Title: Lord of the Fading Lands
Series: Tairen Soul #1
Author: C.L. Wilson
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 402 pages
Published: October 2nd 2007 by Leisure Books
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Once he drove back the darkness.
Once he loved with such passion his name was legend.
Once, driven wild with grief over the murder of his beloved, the majestic Fey King Rain Tairen Soul had laid waste to the world before vanishing into the Fading Lands. Now, a thousand yearslater, a new threat draws him back into the world—and a new love reawakens the heart he thought long-dead.
Ellysetta, a woodcarver’s daughter, calls to Rain in a way no other ever had. Mysterious and magical, her soul beckons him with a compelling, seductive song—and no matter the cost, thewildness in his blood will not be denied. as an ancient, familiar evil regains its strength, causing centuries-old alliances to crumble and threatening doom for Rain and his people . . .he must claim his truemate to embrace the destiny woven for them both in the mists of time.
“Ver reisa ku'chae. Kem surah, shei'tani.
(Your soul calls out. Mine answers, beloved.)”
"They stood there by the Velpin for many long, silent chimes, the woodcarver's daughter and the man who had once almost destroyed the world, the man whose face was now drawn in lines of mingled joy and anguish."
She blinked in surprise. Since the moment she had put her hand in his and he had pulled her into his arms, she felt as if he knew everything there was to know about her. It was surprising and disconcerting to realize that, in fact, they knew each other not at all."
The path is different for every truemated couple, and it is never a simple one. Both Rain and Ellysetta will be tested, as will the strength of their bond, and they must prove their worthiness before the bond can be complete.
LORD OF THE FADING LANDS by C.L. Wilson is phenomenally awesome. OMG, what took me so long to read this book? It's been on my to-read list since last summer. I discovered C.L. Wilson when I read her THE WINTER KING last year. It was another epic adult romantic fantasy masterpiece. At that time, I vowed to check out this other series of hers and I'm so glad I have. The story, the setting, the characters... I'm indelibly hooked. LORD OF THE FADING LANDS is the story of the last Fey King Tairen Soul, Rainier vel'En Daris, and a seemingly ordinary young and innocent woodcutter's daughter, Ellysetta Baristani.
To enjoy this book, you have to accept that the setting is fictitious, yet seemingly real. Celeria is a land where ordinary humans live with some intermingled Fey. There is much distrust of the Fey and their magic among the humans. The Fey's homeland is the Fading Lands and it has been off-limits to humans since the Mage Wars. There's a deep connection between the Fey and the Tairen, a race of huge-winged panther-life cat creatures. The Tairen, though, are sadly a dying breed. AND, finally, there are mages who embrace evil. They were defeated in the Mage Wars and are determined to rise again - this time to claim victory no matter what the cost.
I loved both Rain and Ellysetta. Rain is the epitome of a tortured hero. As the story opens, twenty-four-year-old Ellysetta is being made to marry a bully who has forced himself upon her. All her life she has dreamed of Rain and the Fey and is adept in Fey lore. She has suffered from terrible nightmares all her life - to the point where her family had her exorcised by the Church.
Rainer aka Rain is famous not only for the love he lost but for scorching the world and going mad when he lost that love so tragically. It's been 1,000 years since he has been to Celeria, but he will come and he will identify Ellysetta as his truemate, destined to complete his soul. Theirs is a love for the ages. But... will the Elden forces of evil allow their mating? You have to read this epic series to find out!
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes:
“You were chastising me. You may continue.”
“He held up his index finger. "Rule one: in any dispute between mates, the
male is always to blame, even when he is clearly blameless. Rule two"—his middle finger joined the first—"whenever in doubt, refer to rule one.”
“Would you like to know what it is like to mate with this Fey?”...
“Incredible, searing, glorious heat consumed her. Coherent thought eluded her. She could not think. She could not speak. With a helpless gasp of pleasure, she surrendered. Her arms twined around his neck, clutching him to her.”
“Rain watched as his five best warriors squeezed into the tiny parlor, picked their way through the jungle of wedding gifts as if tiptoeing through a nest of Drogan sand vipers, and settled down with stone-faced stoicism to proceed with the humiliating un-warrior-like task of opening presents....
Five lethal glances speared him. For the first time in a thousand years, Rain Tairen Soul threw back his head and laughed.”
“Ellysetta Baristani is my shei'tani." His eyes found hers. "My truemate." A murmur of voices rippled through the crowd.
"Please tell the court what a truemate is."
"A truemate is the person who holds the other half of a Fey's soul." His gaze never left hers, and Ellie felt the magic of his voice wrapping her in imperceptible weaves of longing. "It is the most sacred bond known to any Fey, more sacred than that between a king and his subjects, more sacred even than that between a mother and a child.”
Some of my favorite scenes occurred when Rain took Ellysetta riding upon his back when he was in Tairen form. Oh! The places they went and the things they saw and did!
The author's rich imagination seems to know no bounds. This book blends fantasy into what truly feels like an historical romance as the author paints each scene with a life-like touch. I've already started the second book, LADY OF LIGHT AND SHADOWS, which, thank goodness, is available, as this book ends without the primary conflict resolution. There's not a cliff-hanger per se, but I still strongly feel that the story is not done. I highly recommend LORD OF THE FADING LANDS to anyone who enjoys magnificent adult romantic fantasies.