Author: Gillian Philip
Publisher: TOR Books
Publication Date: February 19, 2013 (originally published in 2010)
Genre: Fantasy (could be considered YA)
Format: Kindle 478 KB | Hardcover 368 pages
Buy this book on Amazon: Hardcover | Kindle Edition
Author's Website: http://www.gillianphilip.com/
Author's Goodreads Profile: Gillian Philip
Synopsis from Goodreads:
My Thoughts...At the end of the sixteenth century, religious upheaval brings fear, superstition, and doubt to the lives of mortals. Yet unbeknownst to them, another world lies just beyond the Veil: the realm of the Sithe, a fierce and beautiful people for whom a full-mortal life is but the blink of an eye. The Veil protects and hides their world…but it is fraying at the edges, and not all think it should be repaired.
Discarded by his mother and ignored by his father, sixteen-year-old Seth MacGregor has grown up half wild in his father’s fortress, with only his idolized older brother, Conal, for family. When Conal quarrels with the Sithe queen and is forced into exile in the full-mortal world, Seth volunteers to go with him.
But life beyond the Veil is even more dangerous than they expected, and Seth and Conal soon find themselves embroiled in a witch-hunt—in which they are the quarry. Trapped between the queen’s machinations at home and the superstitious violence of the otherworld, Seth must act before both of them are fed to the witch-hunters’ fires…
I love Fantasy and this is the start of a really great Fantasy series. This is like George R.R. Martins Song of Fire and Ice Series for a younger audience. It's so hard for me to do this book justice with a simple review, but I will do my best.
This book is told from Seth's perspective and it covers a span of about 10-12 years near as I can tell. The story opens with a prologue where a 16 year old Seth is poised with a crossbow ready to kill his older brother who is about to be burned at the stake after being accused of being a witch. Then Chapter one begins and Seth is an 8 year old boy who has been sent to live with his father, a man who is lord over his own Dun, but cares nothing for his bastard son.
Seth is a Sithe, a race of immortals who live beyond the Veil. I believe they are fae, but the author never really comes right out and explains it this way. The Sithe do have the ability to enter each others minds similar to telepathy. They can be killed but they don't really age once they are full grown so their life spans are quite long.
Seth is an impetuous child and tends to find trouble quite often. When he first comes to live with his father he is looked down upon by nearly everyone. His mother is an adviser to the queen, he is the result of in indiscretion on his fathers part, but not one that is necessarily uncommon to their people. Griogair MacGregor is bonded to another woman with whom he has other children. Once Conal, his older brother, wins Seth over the other children in the dun slowly start to accept him.
The years pass and Conal and Seth become so close that when Conal is exiled by the queen, Seth follows him to the full mortal world. They spend several years there in exile waiting to be called back, but they find themselves caught up in a witch-hunt led by a seriously deranged "priest". Then we find them back where the book started.
Seth is one of those boys that is always in love with the girl who will never love him because she loves his brother. It takes him a long time to actually see the one who does love him, but he finally comes to his senses. They have a very naturally progressing love story that's very beautiful to read, but there is always this feeling of foreboding that surrounds them. Part of it is the way the story is told. Seth, the narrator, tells the story from an aged perspective, so he isn't telling the story as he lives it. He is an older Seth recounting the story for us and he does tend to foreshadow some as he's telling the story, so you get a sense of how things will turn out in the end.
This book is beautifully written and you can't help but fall in love with Seth MacGregor as he tells you his story. The world that Ms. Philip built is one that I adore and don't feel too unfamiliar with. It's definitely a different take on the Fae world and one that I can't wait to read more of. I am quite looking forward to the next installment of this series.
I know that this is classified as YA fantasy, but I don't think I would necessarily give it a YA classification. I think I would tend more toward New Adult although it doesn't fit those parameters technically. There is quite a bit of violence and some sexual situations. The love scenes aren't really descriptive, but because of the Sithe culture they do engage in this activity at a fairly young age.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of TOR and they have graciously offered a copy for me to giveaway here on the blog. So, if you would like to try to win a hardcover copy of this book just fill out the Rafflecopter form that follows.
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