Second in the Tairen Soul fantasy series, Ellie and Rain are still in the pre-wedding stages in Ellie’s hometown. The title is amazingly appropriate as that is exactly what Ellysetta is—a lady bright in the light and overshadowed by darkness.
Wow. We finally find out what Ellie’s fits and dreams are truly about. That poor kid.
For the rest, yeah, it’s cliché but such a lovely formula it is. Wilson gives the truisms a twist and a flip creating a heart pounding story you will race to finish.
Rain is a fey and the Tairen Soul (shapeshifter, sorta) as well as the King of the Fading Lands who lost the love of his life 1,000 years ago during the Mage Wars; Ellysetta Baristani is the adopted daughter of a woodcarver in Celieria whom Rain has joyfully, and reluctantly, discovered is his soulmate.
Time is running short for Rain, the tairen, and the Fading Lands. He must prevent an alliance between the Fading Land ally, Celieria, and the Eld, a land of the fey’s most grievous mage enemies. The Celierians have not experienced war with mages for 1,000 years and no longer believe the Eld are a threat whereas Rain does remember the Mage War and his own terrible losses. Then there’s the crisis the tairen are facing: kits are dying in the shell and only Ellie can save them but she must willingly accept Rain as her soulmate, her truemate.
A truemate has not been found in over 1,000 years and the first thread has been woven between Ellie and Rain. If Ellie cannot completely accept Rain, he will die as will the hopes and lives of the Fading Lands.
Time is even shorter than Rain believes for the High Mage Vadim Maur has been searching for Ellie for 24 years ever since a servant was spelled to escape with her. Ellie is his daughter and he has high hopes for her magical abilities. He has spies in Celieria, chief amongst them is Kolis Manza who hides himself behind many disguises: a foreign sea captain enlisting Den Borden’s hate to hurt Ellie; a favorite at court of the queen’s whispering in her ear, using her insecurity and pride to turn her from her husband; and, a seducer of ladies he forces to spy—and worse—for him. The Celierian nobles are an unknown. Many have been unthreatened for too long and consider only profit while others have been making ready for this day.
Then another of the fey finds his soulmate. Already married to a noble and he is physically at-risk if he cannot be in her company. An infamous outlaw Dahl’reisen is found in the company of the fey and he has admitted to killing Celierians. Kolis’ whispering campaign is bearing fruit, rotten fruit. Suspicions toward the fey are quickly culminating into outright hatred and the Eld are secretly massing on the border.
The cover has a fey qualtity to it. The woman lying down is obviously meant to represent Ellysetta with the murky, barely visible hooded man with the red eyes behind her sitting in for the High Mage. Nice.