King of Sword and Sky: Can’t wait for the sequel!

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fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsromantic fantasy book review C.L. Wilson Tairen Soul 3. King of Sword and SkyKing of Sword and Sky by C.L. Wilson

King of Sword and Sky is longer than either of the previous two Tairen Soul books, but for me, it breezed by so quickly, I could hardly believe it. King of Sword and Sky continues several plotlines from the earlier books, resolves a really huge one, and ends with a heck of a bang.

We follow Rain and Ellie as they travel to the Fading Lands, where they set out to prepare the Fey for war with the Eld and attempt to save the tairen from the mysterious decline they’ve been suffering. They meet with resistance from many influential Fey. C.L. Wilson does a great job of depicting this opposition without demonizing it. These Fey, after all, don’t know that Ellie and Rain are the protagonists. All they know is that their king has suddenly decided he wants to take a more active role in state affairs, that his new wife may be tainted by the evil Mages, and that the two of them are turning almost all of the time-honored traditions of the Fey upside down. We can see why they’re suspicious even as we know our heroes are right.

The mystery of the tairen deaths is really well-done. We get to meet, and grow to love, a number of the great cats. Their situation is tragic, yet they also provide some hilarious moments of comic relief (I especially loved Steli’s difficulty with knocking on doors), and the result is that they are well-rounded and the reader really feels for them. The solution to the mystery, when it comes, is absolutely diabolical — I didn’t figure it out until just before the characters did, and it’s a doozy!

King of Sword and Sky contains several scenes that are gorier than any we’ve seen previously in the series. We get to see more of what goes on within the Mage stronghold of Boura Fell, and let’s just say they don’t adhere to the Geneva Conventions there. However, the scenes in Boura Fell show something else, too: discontent brewing right under Vadim Maur’s nose. I can’t wait to see what becomes of this subplot.

The novel ends with an epic two-front battle, and for some beloved characters, a cliffhanger. The story continues with the release of Queen of Song and Souls, next week (book four of five). I’ve got a review copy, so I’ll get that review out soon!

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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