Taken by the Huntsman
Taken by the Huntsman is the first of Mistral Dawn’s books set in the magical land of Faerie. The inhabitants of Faerie are many of the typical fantasy worlds readers are used to and few extras as well. Cadeyrn, known as the Erlking, is the leader of the Wild Hunt. He is the final judge, jury and executioner of justice when someone has been severely wronged and calls for the Wild Hunt. Cassandra Bookman, known as Cassie, is a human woman who has lost her job and whose life is pretty much on a dead end track.
When Cadeyrn enters Earth through a portal between worlds on a Wild Hunt for a fae who murdered a pixie child he encounters Cassie. The Erlking knows right away that she is his soul-mate selected by the mother goddess Dea Matrona. Time limitations do not allow Caderyn to take the time to build a relationship and convince Cassie to come with him to Faerie so he casts a spell on her and kidnaps her. Cassie wakes in a world that she only considered a fairy tale world until now.
The two main plot lines revolve around finding the pixie child killer and convincing Cassie to remain in the Faerie realm. There is a lot of romance and intrigue in the book. One might wonder at the actions of Cadeyrn and the ethical nature of kidnapping a woman then trying to convince her that she really belongs in the land of fae rather than mortal earth. Adventures in attempting to escape have a profound effect on Cassie. I felt for both the main characters on both sides of a dilemma. Ms. Dawn did a wonderful job developing the characters and the world. I love her main characters and felt they were well matched. The two plot lines were skillfully interwoven and made for an entertaining and captivating read. The book is a stand alone story, complete without that niggling cliff hanger.
I give this book a five star rating for character development, an interesting and skillfully woven plot, and over all excellent writing. This is certainly an enjoyable and engaging story that will not disappoint fantasy fans. This an adult fantasy novel meant for 18 and over.
Next up a review of Bound by the Summer Prince, the second story of love and intrigue in the land of Faerie.
Bound by the Summer Prince
After reading Taken by the Huntsman I knew I had to dive right into the next book by Mistral Dawn in this magical land of Faerie. In Bound by the Summer Prince the Summer Court King is executed for unpardonable crimes and the Queen is devastated and neglects her duties as Queen of the Summer Court. The court is in disarray and her son Uaine, the Prince of the Summer Court, takes over many responsibilities that his mother neglects. But he cannot run the court alone. In order to take over as King he has to marry and have a queen for balance to remain in the lands.
Veronica, Roni to those who know her, is a human woman making her living as a thief and con artist. After a con gone wrong she is running for her life when she falls through a portal in a wall that leads to Faerie. Those who are chasing her fall through as well. The forest they fall into is deadly and those in pursuit do not make it through the night. Roni, however, is fortunate enough to have on her person an artifact that is dangerous to fae. This keeps the bad things far enough away that she survives the deadly forest. The prince goes walking through the forest to think about what is to become of the Summer Court and finds Roni. Not knowing why she is there, only that it is against the law for humans to be running around Faerie on their own, he arrests her an imprisons her, temporarily.
The book again contains a dual plot of developing romance and saving the Summer Court politically. The author deftly entwines the two subplots and Roni learns how to take on her role in the aiding the Summer Court to overcome the chaos left by the late king. I soon could see that her talent for the role is why the mother goddess has chosen Roni as Uaine’s soul-mate.
I have to say that I did not like Roni, there was no point in the book that changed my mind and feelings about her. There were characteristics of the prince that I did not like as well. Explicit sex scenes in the book contain BDSM, which is difficult for me to read without just skimming through that section. Definitely an adult fantasy for 18 and over.
Because of my personal feelings about the characters and the type of sexual content I can only give this a four star review. The characters and plot were well developed but I couldn’t like the characters and as a result couldn’t identify well with them.
Still I liked it well enough to want to read the novelette “Intrigue in the Summer Court” and following is a review.
Intrigue in the Summer Court
I enjoyed reading this novelette covering just a few days time around the wedding and coronation of Uaine and Roni. The basis of the story surrounds the discovery of a plot to murder the soon to be Queen and King of the Summer Court. The suspense and intrigue was well done and the action was jst right for this short read. I did like the characters a bit better in this story than I did the previous novel. I found the roles of the animals very entertaining. The intrigue written into the plot was well done and I could relate to the characters. The alliance formed for the investigation of who is behind the murder scheme was a captivator for me. I liked the tension found in the cooperation between characters that would not normally be working together.
The novelette is for adults 18 and over because of the sexual content. The short book is worthy of a 5 star review for story, characters, and overall well written content.