This is the third book in the Tairen Soul series by C L Wilson. This book starts with the fey and Ellysetta’s family arriving at the beginning of the Faering Mists or the end of the mortal world. The land is beautiful and peaceful. On a hill is a ruin, behind it a visibility veil has been woven to hide a mostly completed residence for Ellysetta’s sisters and father. There they will live while Ellysetta and the most of the fey will continue on to the Fading Lands.
Ellysetta is the adopted daughter of a woodcarver and his wife. In the previous book, Ellysetta’s mother was killed protecting her from an evil mage. Besides Ellysetta, they had twin daughters who are around 8 years old. They can get into more trouble than can be imagined but they are also charming and have a few of the fey warriors wrapped around their fingers!
Ellysetta or Ellie is the truemate of Rain the leader and Tairen Soul of the fey. She is also a Tarien Soul, which is very unusual as females are never Tarien Souls. By being one, she has command of all the magic elements; earth, wind, fire, spirit and water. Because she was brought up in a household that feared magic, Ellie never learned how to use it. This causes her to weave it without realizing it and using too much at once. It also allows her to do things that no other fey has ever done like remove the darkness from the fey warrior’s souls. She is learning how to control her gifts but sometimes they still get away from her.
Rain left the Fading Lands to find Ellie. The fey and the tairen are dying. As the leader, he needs to find out why and find a way to correct it. It has been shown that Ellie can reverse this trend if she can figure out how. Rain will do anything for Ellie as she works on figuring out her magic, how to help the fey and winning the hearts of the Tairen.
On the other side of the world are the mages of Eld. They want to take over the world and destroy the fey. The mages practice what is considered black magic which the fey are forbidden to use. With spies located throughout the mortal world and new ways to travel, Eld magic users and warriors can move throughout the lands with knowledge of what is happening and the movements of the fey. Two fey captured over 1000 years ago are locked away deep in a mage’s cavern. The female is forced to repeatedly heal the mage while he tries new ways to attack the fey.
War is coming. There is no turning back.
While this is the third book of this series, it can be read by itself though this story is so good that you’ll want to read the first two books. In many series, the first few chapters are basically getting you up to speed so the series can continue. Not so with this book. You jump right into the action like this is where the story started yet you quickly are able to identify the lead characters and get a feel for their personalities. While in previous books, you learned a bit more about the secondary characters, in this book unless it is necessary, you only get the basics yet these basic facts are spun to let you understand who this character is and why they are important to the story.
All the species are extremely well described. Tairen are large cat like creatures that have wings and breathe fire similar to a dragon. They protect the pride at all costs and can be very dangerous, very quickly. Seldom do they let anyone who is not Tairen into their home. Yet, when Ellie goes into a pool to take a refreshing bath, the entire Tairen pride joined her to have some fun. Fey are known to be warriors who will fight until defeated but never give up. They are seen as serious and protective. Yet, when they learn a new invisible spell, practical jokes start happening around the warrior’s academy! It is almost as if you would be able to know the traits of each group without ever having meet them.
The characters are complete and well balanced. Their personalities are obvious by the way they are presented and interact with each other. Bel is the top warrior in the Fading Lands. He has sworn himself to always protect Ellie so when Ellie heads to do something he knows she shouldn’t, Bel is torn between his loyalties to Rain and to Ellie. Gaelon was once an outcast from the fey. Ellie was able to restore his soul and now her returns to the Fading Lands. He presents himself as an arrogant non-caring warrior yet is called on for putting on such an act when those close to him know that he is nervous about-facing his fellow warriors who did not turn from the path of honor.
The war is coming. The scenes of the opening battles were extremely good. The desperation and determination came through. Several times I had to set the book down to calm down. Even though I am well aware that this is made up, the feel is too real and too close. Yet, I couldn’t wait to see what next. This story twists, turns and follows its path to an ending that is perfect.
This story isn’t over, just this portion of it. The war has started and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Still this book gives us hints of what is to come and some ideas of what may happen. As with the previous two books, I will probably read this one a couple of more times to find all the little details I missed while reading it the first time. Each time I read Ms Wilson’s novels, they only get better and better.