RogerBW's Blog

Shadowlands, Violette Malan 26 August 2022

2012 fantasy. The war in Faerie is over. But not everyone will accept the rule of the new Prince, and some of them are causing trouble back on Earth.

Even the name of one protagonist is something of a spoiler, so I'll avoid giving it; but we have humans with elements of Fae power here, and heroic sacrifice, and cosmic implications…

So why did it come over as dull?

The viewpoints certainly don't help: not only are there quite a few of them, but too many of the large cast have names like Falcondream or Nighthawk or Shower of Stars that give me nothing to associate with them (and their personalities don't vary much). I like the way that there are multiple factions each working towards their own slightly different idea of what's best for everyone, but there seems to be a lot of round and round and proposal A, proposal B, I don't trust him, you ought to trust him, we should tell them about it… then the bad guys kill someone and the cycle starts again.

I kept wanting to like it, but there was just no emotional engagement for me, even when people were threatened with injury or death. And since Malan, quite properly, doesn't like wrapping up complicated situations with a quick happily-ever-after, things are left relatively open for another book… which hasn't been published.

It has its moments, and doesn't just poke the standard Urban Fantasy buttons, but there's not much to grab the reader here. Particularly after the first volume, this was something of a disappointment.

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Previous in series: The Mirror Prince | Series: Shadowlands

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