Lord of the Fading Lands (Tairen Soul #1) by C.L. Wilson (2007)
Fiction | Fantasy | Romance
“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 years later, 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, the wildness 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.”
pooled ink Review:
Okay, can I go ahead and say it? The covers for this series are so cheesy and awful. Not a fan haha which is a shame because at least as far as book one is concerned (and I’m hopeful for the rest of the series) it deserves something beautiful that will really attract new readers.
ANYway, now that that’s been said…lol…
I discovered this series because a few people mentioned it for those who enjoyed Sarah J. Maas’ books and while I can see why it would be a recommendation I don’t understand those who claim Maas’ books are exactly the same and might as well be second-rate copies. They truly are not that similar and Maas’ writing is fantastic in its own right. But yes, if you do enjoy Maas’ series (especially her A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy) then you just might enjoy this too.
This book is clearly high fantasy, classic high fantasy, classic old school high fantasy. Ya know, when authors would wax poetic, spin lengthly colorful descriptions of every magical glen or filthy hovel, and use verbiage and honor only known to romanticized fantasy times long past. Overall it’s the particular strand of fantasy that I am not generally drawn towards (honestly it’s probably 85% just me judging covers lol)…and yet I loved it. I think I have the Fey to thank for that. Rain, Marissya, Ellie’s Quintet, pretty much all of the Fey characters we meet in this first book I loved and while Ellie isn’t my favorite character in the book I don’t not like her, she’s very sweet and difficult to not want to protect.
The world is a fascinating puzzle of borders between mortals, Fey, and Mages (they’ve mentioned Elves, witches, and a few others too but only in passing so far). The POVs bop around as needed and it’s never confusing but we do spend most of our time with Ellie and Rain which I love because, well, I’m enjoying the romance. However, despite romance being a bold and obvious plot thread there is so much more going on to keep the story from feeling basic or one-note and I loved that! I would start to get caught up in the romance when the story would suddenly remind me of all the scheming, threats, and mysteries surrounding them and it kept me on my toes.
Rain is the king of the Fey and not only does he possess great powers and magic but he can shape-shift into a Tairen, a fierce winged beast. And of course (you might be well aware of my weaknesses by now haha) I loved him not only because he’s a powerful Fey who once burned the world but because he’s the sweetest soul beneath all that fury and pain. Legends and stories about this thousand-year old Fey abound amongst the mortals but as is typical they only got the story half right. He is fearsome, but he is not a monster. Something Ellie herself must learn.
As I mentioned earlier Ellie wasn’t my top favorite character in this book but I still really liked her. She’s so sweet and good and kind and polite but not in an annoying way because it’s so obviously genuine. But she is not so two-dimensional as to just be a poor, blasé, golden-hearted girl. No, she has dark secrets lurking in her soul as well and it’s one of the most intriguing mysteries woven through the story.
I enjoyed the world, the story, all of it (although despite the nasty characters making for good plot I do not like them. ugh. they cause me much stress.) but what really caught me in its web were the characters. I would die for Rain, Ellie, and Ellie’s Quintet. How can you not meet them, get to know them, and not love them??
The Fey really stuck out to me, I want to learn more about them and visit their country, and I found it interesting how immovable and deep their moral code remains to their race as if bred into their very bones. At times, especially when cast beside the ever-flawed mortals, it can seem a bit silly and self-righteous, but not enough to really irritate because a) you love the Fey too much at this point and b) you wouldn’t want them to lower themselves, rather you’d want the mortals to strive for their level.
I don’t even know what to say really, my reviewing skills do seem to ebb and flow lol, but I was captivated by the fantasy world, I swooned over the romance between Ellie and Rain, I gasped and roared at the nefarious secretive schemes waiting in the shadows, I surprisingly didn’t mind the sometimes over-the-top poetics, and I am eagerly reaching for book two.
UPDATE: (Book 2) Oh my goodness I loved this one even more! Also I would fight anyone who dared look down on G____.
UPDATE: (Book 3) Okay now I’m just stressed and no longer blindly in love with all Fey (and I will still fight to protect G____).
UPDATE: (Book 4) Just ordered it!
UPDATE: (Book 5) …I already know I’m not ready.
Purchase Here: Lord of the Fading Lands
Meet C.L. Wilson!
C.L. Wilsons unique blend of pulse-pounding action, sweeping epic fantasy, and passionate romance has made her books a favorite read for romance and fantasy readers alike. Praised for exceptional worldbuilding and lyric prose, her critically acclaimed novels have regularly appeared on bestseller lists including the USA Today, the New York Times, and Publishers Weekly.
When not torturing her characters mercilessly, C.L. enjoys relaxing with her family in sunny Florida and daydreaming of a world where people exercise in their sleep and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream is a fat burning food.