The Riven Wyrde Saga continues with Fae - The Realm of Twilight.
The Wyrde is dead and gone, its protection passed into the ether. The fae have been loosed upon the world as they begin their wild hunt, a nightmare from fables and legend made flesh.
At Hesk, in the heart of the Barren Isles Ylsriss must confront a reality she never could have imagined when her son is stolen from her by the fae. Her desperate attempts to reclaim him lead her far from this world and deep into the Realm of Twilight, where a still darker truth awaits her.
As the Bjornmen invaders drive their way deeper into Anlan, King Pieter refuses to act. Selena is forced to confront him directly even as Devin and Obair flee Widdengate and begin a search for answers, seeking help from a woman who may little be more than a memory.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the second book in The Riven Wyrde Saga. I LOVED IT!
I normally do a character breakdown in the reviews I write, but there are quite a few characters in this book to do one for all of them, so I will just jump straight into my review.
I love dark fantasy novels, and because I really loved the first book in the series, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one!
The story continues from the end of the first book, and is told through several points of view. I loved this, because it gave the story an almost film-like quality. I loved meeting not only the previous characters, but new ones too, who give a different perspective on events.
The Fae are continuing to break through the Wyrde, which has been holding them back from the human world. When Ylsriss's and Klöss's child gets kidnapped, in an attempt to rescue him, Ylsriss finds herself trapped within the twilight world of the Fae. It was interesting to have such a contrast between the "normal" human realm and the Fae's darker, scarier one; it's moodiness and alien-ness sent shivers down my back!
The story also has a lot of political machinations and bureaucracy, not to mention a lot of posturing that Selena has to deal with. There are also several twists and turns in this story, which kept me sitting on the edge of my seat. I especially found the tension of Ylsriss's and Joran's escape attempt to be very exciting. I kept wanting to look over my own shoulder for the Satyr hunting them!
There are also epic battle scenes in the human world between the Bjornmen and the citizens of Anlan that, because of the vivid descriptions, I could see in my minds eye with ease. There are also several revelations that were hinted at in the first book, which get revealed. However, there are a lot more secrets to be discovered and revealed, so I am now looking forward to finding out what they are in the next book!
Graham Austin-King has written an exciting fantasy novel that kept me turning the pages! Although it can be more difficult to better the first book in some cases, I think that this book is more cohesive as a story and shows this author's growth in confidence with his characters and storyline. I love his fast paced writing style and the story flowed wonderfully from beginning to end. The characters came alive on the page, and I could imagine the scenes in my mind like a movie. With the right casting and director, I could definitely see this working on the big screen.
Warning: This is NOT a children's fairy tale! I do not recommend this book to young children or those of a nervous disposition, as there are scenes of violence and abuse that could be very disturbing to some readers. However, I highly recommend this book to older teens and adults alike if you love dark fantasy novels. - Lynn Worton
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Warning! Spoilers ahead!
1. I loved the moodiness and alien-ness of the twilight realm of the Fae. Was it difficult imagining and creating this world?
Not really, it all sort of came in stages and things sort of grew out of each other. The fact that the sun and moon were only in the sky for an hour each day lend to the atmosphere. I decided from the outset that I wanted the Realm of Twilight to be close to Devin's world. (I actually don't have a name for the world yet so we're just going to call it Earth for the rest of the interview.) So yeah, I wanted it to be close enough to Earth to seem familiar but also just different enough to be creepy. It would have been easy to go nuts and have the sun rising out of a crater in the ground each day or something really ridiculous but that would have ruined the effect.
2. What made you decide to create a twilight world with a limited day/night?
There are a few reasons and I'm not going to explain them all, partly because I'm mean, and partly because I want people to be wondering. The book makes it clear that the fae draw their power from the moonlight so giving them unrestricted access to the moon would have affected the balance of the story. It would also affect their motivations enormously. I suppose you need to think about what it is the fae really want with earth?
3. Is it easier for you to write dialogue, or descriptions of places and events?
Dialogue comes faster, especially Selena. Writers often talk about hearing voices in their heads. Personally I've always thought that's a load of rubbish (replace that word with whatever expletive you like). I do have a firm grip on her character though and she flows very easily. Descriptions of events are the hardest, I tend to rewrite those far more than I do dialogue.
4. There is a lot of political intrigue in this story. What is it about politics that fascinates you so?
There is quite a bit in all three areas the story focuses on. I don't think of it as politics so much as individual schemes and machinations. I suppose any power play on these levels would be politics. That's not really much of an answer is it? Um...because it's fun to mess with my characters lives and move them around like marionettes? Mwah ha ha! Okay... stopping now.
5. There is also a religious/spiritual aspect that features through this tale. Do you feel that the old religions and beliefs have a message for us? If so, what?
I'm not even slightly religious. The religion in the books serves it's own purpose but I don't want to spoil that particular aspect of the books.
6. There are several surprises in store for the reader in this story. How did you come up with the idea of the Wyrde and the meaning behind it?
The Wyrde came as a means to an end. When I was writing book one I needed a reason why the fae weren't already here all the time. The revelations about the Wyrde in book two just sort of came to me. I guess Obair was getting too happy with his lot and I needed to kick him down again.
7. Devin seems to be very sensitive to the Wyrde and the phases of the moon. Does he perhaps have Fae blood in him to account for this? Or is that something we shall have to find out later on?
You're not the first person to wonder this. Devin's sensitivity is a major part of book three so I'm not telling, and you can't make me.
8. The runes/glyphs used on both sides of the Wyrde seem to be significant to the characters involved. Will the readers find out what that significance would be in the next book?
Yes it's a major story aspect.
9. Have you got an idea as to when the next book will be released?
I don't want to put a firm date on it because I'll only end up moving it. I would suspect it will be summer of 2015 but I won't be held to it.
10. I love the covers for both of your books. Who is the artist and will they be working on the next cover too?
Vin Hill, he's a very talented guy and, although we haven't discussed it, I would prefer to have all the artwork produced by the same artist.
Thank you Graham, for taking the time to answer my questions! - Lynn
Sometimes the fairy tales are true...
For a hundred generations the Fae have been locked away from the world, in the cold, the Outside. They have faded out of sight and mind into myth and folklore.
A woman fleeing a life of domestic violence in search of a better future for herself and her young son unknowingly set in motion a series of events which will change the lives of mortal man forever.
Now as a new religion spreads across the world sweeping the old ways and beliefs away before it, and a warlike people look hungrily across the frozen ocean for new lands, the Wyrde of the Druids begins to fade. Can the world realise the truth lost in children's tales before it is too late? Will it withstand the Wild Hunt?
Liam and the Grump was soon followed by Captain Pegleg and the Greatest Treasure.
Fantasy is the genre which has always appealed to him, a result of reading too many books and playing too many roleplaying games and computer games. Having weaned himself on Tolkein he cut his teeth on David Eddings and Raymond E. Feist.
Finally the keyboard beckoned, there were worlds to create.
Graham lives in Kent in England with his wife and three younger children.