Rain Tairen Soul, king of the immortal Fey, claims a woodcarver’s daughter as his mate. A thousand years ago, he scorched half the world from rage and grief after the woman he loved was slain by Eld mages. Ellysetta, a simple girl, grew up on these tales but was scared out of her wits when the powerful king swooped out of the sky as a giant winged cat and declared her his queen…
Nice beginning! Intriguing world. Interesting back story. Promising courtship.
But Ellysetta proved to be too nice and passive to do more than give a token resistance to being ordered around–she is pure of heart, the book glibly cops out. Rain has tunnel vision when it comes to humans and what he wants. He doesn’t even seem that intelligent or ferocious–when a Rogue Fey tries to kill Ellysetta he plummets to the ground and breaks his legs (because he was rushing to save her, you know!). He’s a rather blah character, actually (the Fey assassin was way more interesting!).
Despite these shortcomings, i still devoured every word, every page, every detail. A victim to the craze over the fierce Romance-Fantasy hogging the shelves these past years (in which a magical being can only truly love/connect with one woman in his lifetime. If he doesn’t find her he will slowly go mad from the terrible weight of his immortality. If he does find her he will still go mad or die if she doesn’t accept him… so he’d rather just carry her off by force if necessary. The woman resists in vain.)
The problem with it is that authors are usually more exuberant about painting repeating passionate scenes between hero and heroine and gloss over other important story-telling elements. In this series, CL Wilson forgot to add depth to the characters.
So we Romance-Fantasy enthusiasts keep reading, hoping for more, waiting in vain, but still hoping because the premise of an immortal creature waiting for just one person is truly interesting. I’ve only encountered a few Fantasy writers who are good enough to deliver the goods as well as the mush, and among them are Sharon Shinn and Robin Mckinley.
Anyway, the second book, ‘Lady of Light’ reveals more plot but effectively kills the suspense in the romance.