Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book Review: Feyland: The Dark Realm

I forbid ye maidens all 
who let fly your lovely hair 
to go down to Carterhaugh 
for young Tam Lin is there

WHEN A GAME... Feyland is the most immersive computer game ever designed, and Jennet Carter is the first to play the prototype. But she doesn't suspect the virtual world is close enough to touch -- or that she'll be battling for her life against the Dark Queen of the faeries.


Tam Linn is the perfect hero -- in-game. Too bad the rest of his life is seriously flawed. The last thing he needs is rich-girl Jennet prying into his secrets, insisting he's the only one who can help her.


Together, Jennet and Tam enter the Dark Realm of Feyland, only to discover that the entire human world is in danger. Pushed to the limit of their abilities, they must defeat the Dark Queen... before it's too late.

I have to admit when I picked up Feyland: The Dark Realmby Anthea Sharp I was nervous. While I love books about faeries, I'm really picky about the use of folklore. Thankfully, Anthea Sharp knows her lore.

Our two main characters are Jennet Carter and Tam Linn. I love the names. They come straight from the Ballad of Tam Lin, an old Scottish ballad. In the prologue, Jennet is playing the final level of the new Full-D sim video game, Feyland. It's not available yet, but her father is a developer of the company, so she is the first person to play it. And, hopefully, to win it. But the final level brings her face to face with the Unseelie Queen. And... she loses. The dark queen takes a bit of her soul. Sounds interesting, yes? Only the energy the dark queen takes is real. But she has a chance to get herself back. But she needs to find a champion. On to chapter one. Months pass. Jennet and her father move after a terrible tragedy within the company where one of their own, Thomas Rimer (another name I love), dies. The game is off-limits to Jennet, but that won't hold her back. She meets Tam and invites him to game.

Another thing that caused my initial unease was the addition of gaming. I'm not a gamer. Well, I rock out like a fool with my Guitar Hero, but the sim thing is not for me. Also... technology and faeries... it didn't sound like it would mesh. But when Jennet and Tam sat down to play, they didn't just go into game. They entered Faerie. Puck was a great addition, and I loved seeing brownies, will o' wisps, and more faeries.

This story was interesting and beautifully told. It definitely surpassed my expectations. The use of folklore was fantastic. A lot of what happened I guessed, and knowing the Ballad of Tam Lin, I guessed the ending, but that didn't take any of the enjoyment out this wonderful story. Definitely check it out, and if you need more convincing check out Anthea Sharp's website to read an excerpt.

*lines at the top are the chorus of Tricky Pixie's Tam Lin, my favorite version. You can hear the entire song on the website, or buy it if you need it on your iPod. ; )


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