As an aspiring writer myself, I tend to be critical of both the writing style and content of others' works. To put it bluntly, I oftentimes wonder how numerous books sitting on bookstore shelves even got there in the first place. Here's what I like: Nicely-paced fantasy with well-fleshed characters, intricate plots, plenty of "dark-side" conflict, and enduring friendships. Until I discovered Ms. Ellyne's series I'd been contenting myself with the Harry Potter Series, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and select biographies and mountaineering accounts.
Ms. Ellyne has a gift for drawing you right into the action and deep into the hearts and minds of her characters. The rich, ever- changing storyline charts a course laced with intrigue, glory, devastation, heartache, heroism, love...and breathtaking sensuality!
Never have I witnessed such vision in a writer. She's created a very plausible story of dark age Elves intermingling with Arthurian characters. She stays as true as possible to her exhaustive, ongoing research. The result reads like a beautiful, eloquent tale straight out of ancient times. It would make a riveting mini-series or full-length feature film. Anyone familiar with her previous novels knows she is a master at depicting battle scenes, crafting dialogue, and keeping the story in motion.
The preface and first chapter provide quite a bit of necessary and very interesting backstory, while Chapter 2 onwards clips along with delightful and engrossing action.
This final book of The Fair and Fey finds Arthur in his last battles. Without giving too much away, the pivotal moment occurs when Arthur's own son Merdraud, fatally wounds him. The Elves are living peacefully on the Isle of Avalon, but the Creator has plans for them to battle Demons once more. After all, she has to allow for good as well as evil in the world, lest populations get out of control and people grow lax and purposeless in their "goodness'.
New to this series are Unicorns and an original creation of Ms. Ellyne's: Dragon Elves. Designed to help ally good Dragons with the Elves, Dragon Elves can transform into either species. They are all male and form a lifelong bond with their female Dragon mates.
Two Worlds Changed is an apt title for this novel. Indeed we witness a marked metamorphosis not only of geographic and political landscapes, but also of relationships and individuals themselves
The last scene takes place at Yenearsira, the Winter Solstice celebration, and reads like a beautiful tribute to the timeless and legendary sorcerers, wizards, prophets and gods: Taliesin, Pan, Merlin, Rhiannon, and the Creator. I'm sad this is their last act under the skillful pen of Ms. Ellyne, but I'm eagerly awaiting her next novel..
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)