01/11/2008. Contributed by Joules Taylor
pub: Orbit. 518 page paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84149-601-6.
check out website: www.orbitbooks.net
SPOILER WARNING: From now on, reviews of each volume of this series may make reference to previous volumes, so if you haven't read said previous volumes and don't want spoiler, DON'T read any further!
The previous volume, 'Traitor To The Blood', saw the half-elf Leesil hunting for his past and mother, after discovering in the second book, 'Thief Of Lives', that she might still be alive. At the end of the book we find that indeed she is and has in fact been kept captive for eight years in a glade in a forest in the Elven Territories. Leesil, Magiere the dhampir, the scholar Wynn and Chap, their canine companion, set out across the bleak Broken Range mountains in the depths of winter to find and hopefully rescue her. Along the way, they are held captive by the Anmaglâhk, the caste of elven assassins to which Cuirin'nên'a, Leesil's mother belonged and by whose tenets he had been raised for trespassing on forbidden ground. There is, however, a deeper reason for their capture, one which could well divide elvish civilisation beyond repair.
After the somewhat lacklustre ambience of the story in the previous two books, 'Rebel Fay' comes as a much-needed return to the intrigue of the first two novels. The overall pace is faster, the action crisp and interesting, and the characters memorable. The Hendee's elvish society is also well realised and nicely depicted with some novel elements and a startling revelation towards the end of the book. The various story arcs are also neatly intertwined, making the book a satisfying read.
However, the main focus of this book is Chap, the Rebel Fay of the title. His history - the whole concept of the majay-hì, in fact - is fascinating. I hope it's explored further in books to come.
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