Thursday, August 24, 2017

Audiobook Review: Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson

Series:     Tairen Soul #1
Pub. Date:Dec. 6, 2010
Publisher:Audio Realms
Narrator:Stephanie Riggio
Length:15 hrs 42 min

This is the book that started it all for me in the fantasy romance genre. I first picked up Lord of the Fading Lands about five years ago shortly after I had been introduced to fae/fey characters. This was my first ever fantasy romance, and I absolutely fell in love with the genre. So going back for a re-read of this favorite series is like coming home to old friends... full of nostalgia and warm fuzzies.

Lord of the Fading Lands takes place largely in the fantasy realm of Celieria, the home of our heroine, Ellysetta Barastani. Ellie is 24 year-old somewhat gawky young woman who is still growing into her looks. Having been largely ignored by marital prospects, Ellie has dreams of falling in love... something her practical parents do not encourage. In fact, Ellie is facing an unwanted wedding to an odious little sausage. But her life is turned on its head with the arrival of the fey and Rain Tairen Soul, who has not been seen in Celieria in a thousand years. I liked Ellie as a heroine. While she is somewhat naive and unassuming, I didn't find her naivety to be annoying. Ellie must come to terms with being the center of attention and the fated mate (shei'tani) of a king, while dealing with familial and societal prejudices against fey magic. I was happy to see fate intervene in Ellie's life, and I loved that she was able to share her soul light to ease burdens of the fey.

Rain Tairen Soul is a king with a tragic story. When his first mate was killed in the mage wars, he went mad and torched the earth. Rain has been somewhat lost for the last century, but he knows he must find a way to save his people. The numbers of Tairen and Fey are dwindling, and if Rain does not solve the problem, their species and race could die out. I just love Rain Tairen Soul. I loved his strength and vulnerability, and I loved his ability to shapeshift into the tairen soul. Rain was super protective of Ellie without smothering her spirit. I was so happy that he found his true mate, and I really enjoyed the way that Ellie heals his soul unknowingly. Much of what I love about Rain came from the series as a whole, so I won't mention it here... but he remains one of my favorite fantasy heroes to this day.

This first book of the series is largely the meet-cute between Ellie and Rain, and it sets up the story arc for the series. There are glimpses into the major plot conflict of the series, and it is a doozy. But one of my favorite aspects of this book/series (other than Ellie and Rain) are the secondary characters. I have major crushes on two of Ellie's fey guard, and I thought C.L. Wilson did a good job at making all of the characters interesting and engaging. I am eager to continue with my re-read/listen of the series where our characters return to the Fading Lands and meet the Tairen!

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