“Rain Tairen Soul had left the Fading lands after a self-imposed exile of a thousand years on a quest. The tairen, soul-kin to the Fey were dying. Their last hope lied within the mortal city he despised, Celiera.
She called him out of the sky. Ellysetta Baristani, the foundling daughter of a Celerian woodcarver and his wife. She was the soul mate he sought and won. But with every blessing came a price.
In the thousand years the Fey had remained behind the curtain of the Faering Mists, the mortals had grown in independence and in distrust of Fey magic. Now they were entertaining the thought of opening their borders to the Eld, Rain’s bitter enemy. He must convince the Celierian council that Mage Council has reconstituted itself and are preparing for attack. Rain had won little support with his high handed claiming of Ellysetta who had been legally betrothered to a Celierian citzen, Den Brodson.
The High Mage Vadim Maur is seeking the lost child he planned to use to destroy the Fey. He had appeared to Ellie in her nightmares all of her life, making her fear the magic deeply locked up within her. She had carefully guarded herself against giving herself away to the “Shadow Man” but once she is promised to Rain the nightmares return. She dreams of the future and the death and destruction of everyone and everything she holds dear by her own hand. Fear gives her away. The High Mage now knows who she is and where to find her.
A Sulimage, Kolis Manza, has been dispatched to Celiera where he manipulates events and people to expose Ellie’s true identity. In one guise he captures the ear of the Celieran queen, Annoura, manipulating her through her pride. Born of royal blood she will not welcome a woodcarver’s daughter as her equal before the Celieran aristocracy. When her attempts to make a fool of Ellie backfire at a state dinner, the entire court is overcome by Ellie’s wine and keflee induced erotic weave. Outrage sways the Celerian nobles even further toward an alliance with the Eld.
Like the others in the room Rain had been overcome by lust from Ellie’s weave. He had fled from her in order to keep his vow to her father to keep her pure until her wedding day. But through their connection Rain’s dream that night becomes Ellie’s as well. At last she knows why he had sought her. The survival of the Fey and the tairen rests on her shoulders, but could she go with Rain to the Fading Lands knowing that she could very well be the instrument of their destruction.
Den Brodson had sensed the magic in Ellie and he would stop at nothing to get her back. He is easily manipulated by the High Mage’s minion as is her best friend, Selianne, who fears the Fey for her own reasons.
Ellysetta’s mother has no love for the Fey as she has feared magic all of her life. Because of childhood seizures Ellie had one been declared demon possessed, and when Lauriana witnesses Ellie using magic she fears for her first born daughter’s soul in the hands of the Fey king.
Manza has marked Selianne who is of Eld descent and uses the girl against Ellie. Selianne plays on Lauriana’s fear until she agrees to involve the church to save Ellie’s soul and break her bond to the Fey.
The great Dahl’reisen (rogue Fey who have lost their souls) known as the “Dark Lord” believes that he has discovered a devastating truth regarding the Feyreisa’s origins and travels forth to Celiera intent on killing her, even though he knows her death would also mean Rain’s and ultimately his people’s - Better at his hand, than by the Eld.
Even Rain’s trust is shaken as word comes to him of Ellie’s suspected origins, and as each of Kolis’s puppets play their role, Ellie finds herself isolated and without protection on the day of the Bride’s Blessing.
Will the High Mage claim his greatest prize, or will Ellysetta Baristani, pushed to her limits finally unleash her magic and become the powerful Feyreisa she was born to be? The tairen await her in the Fading Lands. Will she find a way to save them all or will the High Mage, Vadim Maur, have his revenge? Look for the final installments, KING OF SWORD AND SKY and QUEEN OF SONG AND SOULS, in 2008. LADY OF LIGHT AND SHADOW is an exciting continuation of the Tairen Soul/Fading Lands saga. I can’t wait for the next installment.
Reviewed for PNR Reviews