Faerie Rising - Book Review
Updated: Apr 30, 2018
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I absolutely loved this book and the characters that A.E. Lowan has created and highly recommend it.
Winter Mulcahy is an over-worked, over-stressed, and way out of her depth wizard in the city of Seahaven, Washington. Seahaven is a town that is filled to the brim with all manner of preternatural beings, including vampires, fae, and all manner of therians - basically every manner of were-type creature that you can imagine, from rabbits to orcas, wolves to ravens. The town is on edge as each group tries to fight for dominance and Winter, being part of the wizard family that helped settle the town, is stuck in the middle trying to keep the peace between groups that would rather tear each other apart. Into this mix a faerie knight and a Sidhe (faerie) Prince come to town, looking for a prince who has been kidnapped, and soon Winter is even more overwhelmed when she must try to save the city from an impending disaster, and the only way to do that is to get everybody to play nice and work together.
Winter is a well-crafted character, but she is not your typical heroine, bringing a lot of baggage with her. She is the last in the Mulcahy line, trying to keep a city full of preternatural beings from killing each other. She is an excellent healer, and not a great fighter, but she's the only wizard still standing who can keep the minor incursions from faerie into Seahaven from getting out of control. She is burning the candle at both ends, and in the middle, and can only function by taking an energy potion daily that is slowly killing her. I love how in depth Winter's character is, and that as the story moves along she sees what is happening to her, but struggles with asking for help, even knowing the consequences of that decision. She feels she must do everything, and not show any favoritism, otherwise the fragile truce between the different groups in Seahaven will be undone. Only through the perseverance of her friends (old and new) does she finally acknowledge the facts and accept their assistance.
The other characters are just as robust and thought out. Jessie, Winter's apprentice, is feisty and full of spunk, though that means she often leaps before she thinks. Etienne, the faerie knight, has his own baggage and problems spanning back for hundreds of years, though he is a loyal friend and single-minded in completion of his goals. Erik, one of the city's vampire kings, is overly protective of Winter, even as she struggles to keep her distance so as to not appear to play favorites. Lana, a succubus, has her own agenda and is quick to take action in service to her new friends. (I enjoyed the interplay between Lana and Etienne.) Each character has depth, making them fun to read as you are caught up in their struggles.
My one quibble with the story - and it's a minor one - was the timing and pacing of the climactic ending. I loved the ending, and how it came about, as well as the conclusions and consequences that were revealed. My concern was over the pacing between the events leading up to the final battle in one chapter, then "wham" we are in the middle of the fight. I had to go back and make sure I hadn't misplaced my bookmark and skipped a chapter. But that is a minor concern, and doesn't detract from the overall world that A.E. Lowan has created.
Real characters with all too human flaws (even among the faerie), and a well-planned, rich, and thought out world make Faerie Rising an excellent book. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book.