Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rebel Fay – review

Authors: Barb & JC Hendee

First Published: 2007

Contains spoilers

This is book 5 of the Noble Dead series and follows on from Traitor to the Blood. It follows the dhampir Magiere and her partner, and lover, the half-elven Leesil as they enter the land of the elves on the quest to find and rescue his mother, an elven assassin accused of being a traitor.

Due to the location, and the world rules that the Hendees have invented, it does mean that the vampire characters Welstiel and Chane are sidelined to a few pages interspersed within the volume as the undead cannot breach the elven lands. However, with Magiere being a dhampir this is still very much a vampire novel set within a fantasy background.

Indeed her nature is very much the crux of the story as the elves are opposed to humans entering their lands and if Magiere’s true nature were revealed…

The previous novel felt a little slow to start but this does not, indeed like the earlier books in the series I was pulled in immediately. The book not only looks to resolve the Leesil storyline, which opens the series to return to the main Magiere story, but there is plenty of background revealed through the story.

Much of this background centres around the, so called, forgotten times when armies of undead roamed the world and the forces of darkness nearly triumphed. We also begin to see exactly what the various manipulative forces in the book want with both Magiere and Leesil.

The rebel fay of the title refers to the elven dog, or majay-hi, named Chap. We have seen this dog develop in to so much more, over the previous volumes, and it was eventually revealed that he is a Fay who has chosen to give up elemental status and become born in flesh in order to protect Magiere. However, in this, he begins to suspect that his elemental brethren have removed much of his memory and their manipulations may not be for the best. In many respects this book, as the title would suggest, is Chap’s story. Kudos to the Hendees for making a character that is essentially an animal come across as so real.

The descriptions of the elven lands are excellent, but it is the elven politics and the alien social set up that really work so very well in this.

The series feels well and truly back on track, though the book will not work as a stand alone for those unfamiliar with previous volumes. As part of the series 7.5 out of 10.

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