Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and some of the fairy stories I read in my childhood definitely showed me the cruel and capricious nature of fairies, but this book underscores it a hundred fold. Annwynn, land of the fairies, is a perpetual summer with fairies dancing around the flowers and sipping nectar, except in this reality the rot has set in and leaves are falling as new alliances are formed and plots and counterplots abound behind the beautiful masks in the fairy court to see who will bring down the current rule and establish a new court.
Any fairies caught outside the boundaries of Annwynn will die when a new king ascends. Taryn’s father is exiled and doomed to live in the mortal realm and therefore doomed to die when the change occurs. Taryn is a fairy brought up in the human realm with her parents, her mother choosing to love and live in the human realm. She comes to the fairy court to seek a pardon that will spare her parents’ lives.
Innocence is a rare prize in fairy land and Taryn stands out, despite the instructions that she receives from her ex-counselor mother. While she has allies in the prince, who’s changeling son her parents protect in the human realm, she’s taken under the wing of one of the most powerful men in court who is so enthralled by her beauty and innocence that he risks his own power for her.
Verden grew up on a farm in the outskirts of Annwyn. He has clawed himself into a premier position in the court, but he still remembers what it felt like when he arrived, so, in a rare moment of compassion, decides to help Taryn, only to find that her innocence and beauty has burrowed beneath his defenses right into his heart. He is willing to risk all to help Taryn and keep her safe.
Taryn’s love for her parents is so strong and fierce, that not only does it melt Verden’s heart, but also makes a strong impact on the king himself. On the flip side, the cruelty of the court and the sheer ambition that colors their behavior, including Taryn’s grandmother when she first meets her, make me feel so sad. If there were any rose-colored lenses left, they shattered.
The author paints a fantastical picture of living in the fairy realm. The midsummer’s night revels when they use luminescent paints. I could close my eyes and imagine such a production – the forays that Taryn and Verden make to the mortal realm where they use dried leaves as money and glamour to fit into the world in which they find themselves or the part where Taryn is turned into a white doe to be a part of a trial to prove her loyalty.
I thoroughly enjoyed some of the word pictures the author paints and the next book in the series which features the power shift sounds quite intriguing.
She Wasn’t Cut Out for His World…
The realm of the fairies might be unbelievably beautiful, but its people are notoriously treacherous. Raised among mortals, Taryn hoped to avoid her fairy heritage her whole life. But now she must cross over to Annwyn and appeal to the King to pardon her exiled parents, or they’re sure to die. And to get to the King, she’ll first have to face the Lord of the Hunt…
He Can’t Imagine Life Without Her…
Verden, Lord of the Hunt, is sworn to serve to King. But the moment he sees Taryn, the attraction is instant and devastating. How can he not help the beautiful, brave young woman who refuses to bend to the will of the court? Yet the power in Annwyn is shifting, its magic failing. No matter how much he may love Taryn, the Hunter knows that abandoning his duty could bring down the mortal world forever…
No excerpt available.
Other books in this series:
To Love a King – 2014