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Rosie Fox is a daughter of the Aetherials an ancient race from the Spiral—the innermost realm of the Otherworld—who lives secretly among us Yet she and her kind are bereft of their origins because on Earth in a beautiful village named Cloudcroft the Great Gates between worlds stand sealedHer parents Auberon and Jessica are the warm heart of Cloudcroft and of Rosie’s loving family But on the hill lives the mysterious aloof Lawrence Wilder Gatekeeper to the inner realms of Elfland Tortured by private demons he is beset by trouble on all sides his wife has vanished and his sons Jon and Sam are bitter and damaged Lawrence is duty bound to throw open the Gates every seven years for the Night of the Summer Stars a ritual granting young Aetherials their heritage their elders vital reconnection to their source Lawrence however is haunted by fears of an ever growing menace within the Spiral When he stubbornly bars the Gates he defies tradition and enrages the Aetherial community What will become of them deprived of the realm from which flows their essential life force? Is Lawrence protecting them—or betraying them?Growing up amid this turmoil Rosie and her brothers along with Sam and Jon Wilder are heedless of the peril lurking beyond the Gates They know only that their elders have denied them their birthright harboring dark secrets in a conspiracy of silenceWhen Sam is imprisoned for an all too human crime age old wounds sunder the two familiesyet Rosie is drawn into his web even as she fears the passions awoken in her by the dangerous Wilder clan Torn between duty and desire between worlds Rosie unwittingly precipitates a tragedy that compels her to journey into the Otherworld where unknown terrors await Accompanied by the one man most perilous to her life she must learn hard lessons about life and love in order to understand her Aetherial natureand her role in the terrifying conflict to come


10 thoughts on “Elfland

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    ETA Reread finished 5132015 I think this is the third time I've read it Possibly fourth Got something different out of it this time much into the realms now than the love storyOld Review Below 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 any 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 heartbreakingI 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 going home so I could read I read late into the night every night I was hooked That to me is the surest sign of a five star book the complete inability to put it down unless I absolutely have toOur heroine Rosie Fox is of Aetherial fae descent living with her family just this side of the Great Gates that divide our world from the Otherworld Rosie's haughty neighbor Lawrence Wilder is the Gatekeeper and as such is supposed to open the Gates every seven years to allow travel and a flow of energy between the realms As the story opens however he has shut the Gates claiming a great danger lurks on the other side Elfland follows Rosie her family and friends and Lawrence's family over the course of the next fourteen years Fourteen years long enough for a girl to grow into a woman for loves to be lost and found and for family secrets to explode Long enough for some Aetherials to decide it's better to deny their fae nature and for others to resort to desperate measures to reopen the GatesAt its heart Elfland is about how denying one's true self is a sure path to disaster It's also a love story I usually don't go for romances in which the hero and heroine bicker but Warrington makes the trope sing Rosie and her eventual love interest get off on the wrong foot as kids and the way their relationship develops seems painfully realistic to me with the characters slipping back into snarky retorts because they're familiar and because the retorts serve as an outlet for emotions disturbing than anger Both characters have a lot of growing to do before they're a good match for each other Elfland is in part the story of that growth and of the sometimes wrenching mistakes made along the wayWhen the plot moves into the Otherworld Warrington handles the journey perfectly It would have been easy to let the story get bogged down in travelogue here to slow the pace down by showing the reader every single strange thing that populates the Aetherial realms Warrington doesn't fall into this trap She gives us a glimpse of how beautiful and how terrifying Elfland can be but leaves some things to the imagination and keeps the focus firmly on the characters' quest This has a dual effect it keeps the plot moving and it allows the Otherworld to retain some of its mysteryIf I have any quibble at all it's that I don't think the slang needed to be Americanized for the US audience It's not necessary and it's not done consistently Characters sometimes obtain higher education at uni but sometimes they go to college instead and one character calls another gay as a nine dollar note I wouldn't have minded British slang The book does take place in Britain after allThat's a tiny gripe though and overall I loved Elfland It's a sumptuous feast of a novel filled with vivid characters magical locales both earthly and Aetherial and a complicated plot in which nearly every detail turns out to be significant in the end I'll definitely be looking up Freda Warrington's backlistSee this review in context at FantasyLiteraturenet