Review of “The Fall of Fair Isle”

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Book Review – “The Fall of Fair Isle” eBook was published in 2015 (an omnibus edition with the three books “Broken Vows”, “Dark Dreams” and “Desperate Alliances” originally printed 1999 to 2002) was written by Rowena Cory Daniells (http://www.rowena-cory-daniells.com). Ms. Daniells has published a dozen novels.

I received a galley of this novel for review through https://www.netgalley.com. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in a mythical medieval world. There are three main characters in the series. The nation of Ghebite invades Fair Isle under the command of 30 year old General Tulkhan, and soon falls to their military might.

The young 17 year old T’En woman T’Imoshen becomes one of the last of the royal line as her family have all fallen in battle defending Fair Isle. She surrenders to Tulkhan rather than see more of her people killed. Prince Reothe, also with T’En heritage, slips away into hiding and fosters a rebel resistance to the Ghebites.

What evolves is a triangle between these three as they vie for power and love. Both men love T’Imoshen. She is also the key to the support of the Fair Isle people. T’Imoshen agrees to ‘bond’ (marry) Tulkhan for political reasons, but comes to love him. The young king of Ghebite, Tulkhan’s half brother, turns on him as he resents and fears his popularity. Tulkhan and T’Imoshen must unite to fight him.

The T’En are different from regular humans with red eyes, silver hair, six fingers on each hand and varying degrees of the ‘gift’. The ‘gift’ is the ability to sense and control other minds. Reothe has experience with the gift, but T’Imoshen has not had her abilities refined.

T’Imoshen, though betrothed to Reothe, breaks her promise to wed Tulkhan. She discovers that she loves both Tulkhan and Reothe, but is committed to her vows with Tulkhan. Reothe is constantly after T’Imoshen to run away with him and oppose the General. There is constant intrigue, political infighting and betrayal as the three vie for power. The love the three share is offset by distrust.

Though the Ghebite king is initially defeated, he comes back threatening Fair Isle with a new army. T’Imoshen, Tulkhan and Reothe must join forces to defeat the new invaders.

I thought I would never finish this book! I spent 32.5 hours reading the 1000 page eBook. I liked the story and the abilities that the T’En had. I wish I had first read the “Outcast Chronicles” trilogy which told the story of how the T’En got to Fair Isle, but this book read well on its own.

The story is a rich mix of personal desires, strong wills and distrust. I like that the T’En are both revered and feared. I think the book cover art was well chosen. While the Romance thread of this Fantasy novel was more than I usually like, I did thoroughly enjoy the book. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

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