Elfland by Freda Warrington
Cross Elizabeth Hand with Fire and Hemlock, and you might end up with something like Freda Warrington's Elfland. This is the kind of big, sweeping modern faerie tale that you don't see often on the adult shelves anymore. There's been some beautiful work done in YA recently, but in the adult realm, the trend has been away from novels like this. And that's a shame. Elfland is complex, rich, sensual, beautifully written, and sometimes heartbreaking.
I devoured Elfland. I carried it with me everywhere for four days, because I never knew when I might have a spare five minutes to steal a page or two. When I was at work, I looked forward to goi... Read More
Freda Warrington(1956- )
Freda Warrington was born in Leicestershire, England. Before turning to writing, she worked as a graphic designer and illustrator. Learn more at Freda Warrington’s website.
The Aetherial Tales — (2009-2013) Publisher: Elfland is an intimate, sensual novel of people — both human and Aetherial — caught between duty and desire. It is a story of families, and of Rose Fox, a woman born to magic but tormented by her place in her adopted world. Led by Auberon Fox, a group of Aetherials — call them the Fair Folk, if you will — live among us, indistinguishable from humans. Every seven years, on the Night of the Summer Stars, Lawrence Wilder, the Gatekeeper, throws open all gates to the Other World. But this time, something has gone wrong. Wilder has sealed the gates, warning of a great danger lurking in the realm beyond them. The Aetherial community is outraged. What will become of them, deprived of the home realm from which their essential life force flows? Rose Fox and Sam Wilder are drawn to the lands beyond the gates, even as their families feud over Lawrence’s refusal to do his duty. Struggling with their own too-human urges, they discover hidden truths that draw them together in a forbidden alliance. Only by breaching the dreaded gates and daring the danger beyond can they confront that which they fear most – their otherness — and claim their birthright.
Elfland by Freda Warrington
Elfland by Freda Warrington
“What a great book!” That was my first thought on completing Freda Warrington's Elfland. It was one of those books that I would read far into the night, telling myself: “just one more chapter, just one more chapter…” until I couldn’t even keep my eyes open. In a nutshell: it’s unique, it’s clever, it’s funny and it’s definitely not what you’d expect from this particular genre.
Probably best described as urban fantasy, Elfland concerns a community of people known as Aetherials. The Aetherials are physically indistinguishable from humans, and move between this earthly plain and their true home called the Spiral in another dimension. A Gatekeeper controls the way in and out, but at the start of this novel, the current keeper — Lawrence Wilder — has flatly refused to open it, claiming that there is somethin... Read More
Midsummer Night by Freda Warrington
When you love a book as much as I do Freda Warrington’s Elfland, there’s always a little bit of fear mixed in with the anticipation for its sequel. Finding a book that resonates with you on many levels at once is like falling under a spell. What if the second book isn’t as good; what if it breaks the spell? Now that I’ve read Midsummer Night, though, I can report that I’m still happily ensorcelled. Midsummer Night lives up to the quality of Elfland and is a terrific novel in its own right.
If Elfland was about love and being oneself, Midsummer Night deals with themes of guilt vs. redemption, loss vs. healing, and the intersection of art and magic. The two point-of-view characters are Gill Sharma, a former world-clas... Read More
Grail of the Summer Stars by Freda Warrington
Grail of the Summer Stars is the third in Freda Warrington’s AETHERIAL TALES series, following Elfland and Midsummer Night. Each novel can stand alone, though they have some overlapping plotlines and characters, such that each novel will be more meaningful and resonant if you’ve read the others. Grail of the Summer Stars has more overlapping elements than either of the two previous books and is connected more strongly to each of them than they are to each other.
Warrington introduces us to Stevie Silverwood, a metalworking artist and museum curator who has always been a little odd, seeing things no one else could see — and whose past before age 15 is a mystery even to herself. Her quiet life is disrupted when her old college sweetheart, Daniel, sends her a triptych of fantastic paintings along with a cryptic note, and goes missin... Read More
Blackbird — (1986-1988) Publisher: Only three can save the Earth… From Forluin, green, half-fabled land of beauty and peace, has journeyed the gentle Estarinel, bearing tragic news. From the terrible Empire of Gorethria rides Ashurek; a lean and deadly warrior, once High Commander of its Armies, scourge of the Earth, hated and feared across continents. The third is known only as Medrian. Coldly wrapped in her cloak of sorrow, her eyes deep-shadowed with suffering long-endured, she will explain nothing of her reasons. Theirs is the Quest. They must slay the great Serpent before it lays waste and utterly destroys the Earth. Together they must seek its lair in the far frozen north, battling peril and nightmare until they face the ultimate, indestructible foe… Three warriors. An epic Quest. They are the world’s last hope…
Dark Cathedral — (1996-1997) Publisher: Throughout their childhood, Beth and Luke have been terrorized because of their mother’s religious mania. One summer, Beth visits her grandmother and meets the irresistable Morgan, and her descent into darkness begins. The beloved child they conceive foretells a future of evil.
Jewelfire — (1999-2001) Publisher: Set in the future, humans are forced to share the world with shape-changers from Bhahdradomen, and the mysterious Aelyr. When the shape-changers start a war, two sisters and two brothers from a quiet village find themselves about to be dragged into the conflict.
Blood Books (Vampire Stories) — (1992-1995) Publisher: Karl von Wultendorf, though a vampire himself, is completely under the power of his maker, Kristian, who demands total servitude. Karl is determined to kill him. But vampires, as Karl well knows, are almost indestructible. Charlotte Neville is the daughter of a Cambridge professor. She has grown up questioning all that she sees and because of this, is seen as a wall flower by British society. She lives with her father and assists him with his experiments at his laboratory. When Karl meets, and falls in love with, Charlotte, he realizes that he must find a way to kill Kristian. For Kristian has decided to teach Karl a lesson in power, by devouring Charlotte.
The Rainbow Gate — (1989) Publisher: As a child, Helen and her friend Rianna had wandered freely into an enchanted other-world of bright-coloured creatures and strangely beautiful people. Then Rianna had moved away and the enchantment had vanished. Now, fifteen years later, she had returned suddenly, secretive and haunted. And soon Helen found herself drawn back across the half-forgotten, ever-shifting boundaries between reality and fable. Drawn back into the twin lands of Tevera: the sun-bright, singing land of the Chalcenians and the chill, sad underworld of the Domendrans.
Sorrow’s Light — (1993) Publisher: Iolithie is cousin to the Royal Family, content in her life as she blossoms into adulthood. Then Prince Tykavn’s intended Princess is slaughtered by The Unseen, the evil supernatural denizens of The Stolen Land, and Iolithie is chosen as the replacement bride. Outwardly, her Prince is all she could have hoped. But in the privacy of their bedchamber, Iolithie discovers her husband is more than just deeply religious. His elaborate rituals and rites to placate the sun-god Ama are becoming an obsession, his intense devotion a crippling illness. The priests and counsellors, even her own family, ignore her pleas, until Iolithie has only one chance to save her Prince. She must travel to the mother-kingdom Onafross and beg help from the King, her father-in-law. But to get there, she must cross The Stolen Land, where The Unseen worship the demon-goddess Sudema, the Evening Star — and kill any of Ama’s children who trespass on their domain.
Dracula, The Undead — (1997) Publisher: In this sequel to Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” the vampire reanimates himself and pursues the Harker family to London, where he continues to torment them. Is there no escape from his horrors?
The Court of the Midnight King — (2003) Publisher: The most reviled monarch in English history or a man caught between the forces of light and darkness, pushed by circumstance into the vilest of crimes? The Wars of the Roses — colourful, full of fury and passion. In our histories — and Shakespeare’s play — Richard the Third dies on Bosworth Field, hacked to death in a just ending. But another Richard exists, who is still loved in the North of England and remembered as their best ruler. But how can these two opposites have co-existed in the same world? Or did they? Through the eyes of Lady Katherine we see Richard grow up in a strange world where both Mother Goddess and patriarchal Christian God exist, and the struggle between the two religions is mirrored in that between York and Lancaster. From their teenage years, Freda Warrington traces Richard and Katherine’s story during one of the most fascinating times in England’s history.
Freda Warrington is the author of numerous books, most recently the AETHERIAL TALES series: Elfland, Midsummer Night, and the newly released Grail of the Summer Stars (see my review here). These three books have been among my favorites of the last few years. Ms. Warrington has kindly taken some time to answer a few questions, and I’m thrilled to welcome her to FanLit. We’re also giving away a copy of Grail of the Summer Stars to a reader in the US or Canada.
Kelly Lasiter: In an earlier novel, The Court of the Midnight King (which I've been meaning to read for a few years now), you deal with the history of Richard III, a plot that gets a little cameo in Grail. I was just thinking recently that the discovery of Richard's burial si... Read More