February 29, 2012

Review: The Sidhe World Part 1 by SA Archer & S Ravynheart

February 28, 2012

The Sidhe World Part 1
by S.A. Archer & S. Ravynheart
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Ravynheart Publishing
Release Date: October 28, 2011

Part 1

Author Summary

End of the World (Champion of the Sidhe #1)
The day Lugh, Champion of the Sidhe, has long fought for finally manifests; all Sidhe unified under one Court.  No more Light versus Dark.  No more wars.  Brothers, on and all.  But on the day that should be celebrated as their greatest triumph, treachery brings his world crashing down, literally. Now if he can’t find a way to stop it no fey will survive.

Aftershock (Rise of the Unseelie #1)
The day the Mounds collapsed Jhaer, leader of the Unseelie Elite, sacrificed his strength, his magic, and his very life to save his world.  It wasn’t enough.  He thought that was the end of his story… Instead it is the beginning.

Cursed (Touched #1)
As a private investigator specializing in paranormal problems, London Eyer thought she could handle working for the Sidhe. They couldn’t be any worse than vampires or werewolves or wizards, could they? Oh, how wrong she was.  One ‘Touch’ of Sidhe magic and she was cursed. Her only chance to survive is to serve the creep that cursed her against the vicious Changelings out for his blood.

My Thoughts

I really enjoy stories based on myths, legends and folklore. Whether it’s Greek, Roman, Sumerian or Celtic, lore adds such a mystical element that will put a novel far above other fiction…in my opinion anyway. 

Also I admit that I’m a big fan of novellas and short stories. It’s incredibly difficult to create a good backstory, develop characters and establish a captivating plot in such a limited amount of pages.  A lot of authors end up overwhelming readers with too much detail on either front and it’s hard to get the balance just right.  I think it’s a true test of an author’s skill to communicate all we need to know and successfully deliver a story that makes us want more.

S.A Archer and S. Ravynheart are among those skilled authors.  

The Story World…

This story introduces us to a world deeply rooted in Irish lore.  The fey are the people of the Tuatha de Danaan or the goddess Danu. The Seelie and Unseelie Sidhe and lesser fey (elves, pixies, fairies, changelings, goblins, etc.) all reside in the Mounds (the power base of all the fey) with the All-Mother Danu.  Part of the story takes place in the human realm where vampires, werewolves, wizards, some lesser or earthborn fey live.

The authors use a unique way to deliver this series.  They’ve created 3 different mini-series that capture some of the same events but from different perspectives. There are crossovers and connections between the 3 and ultimately they will lead to a ginormous confrontation later in the series.

The first mini-series is Champion of the Sidhe and this story is told from Lugh’s point of view.  He is the Champion of the Fey and King of the Seelie Court.  The second is Rise of the Unseelie and this story is told from Jhaer’s point of view.  He is the Leader of the Elite Unseelie warriors.  The third is Touched, where we hear London’s story on the human realm.

It took me a while to figure out how things fit together.  But once I did, I found the technique the authors are using quite effective.  The entire Part 1 would equal the length of a novella.  There is a reading order that should be followed in order to avoid spoilers.   For Part 1, you should read in this order: #1) End of the World; #2) Aftershock; #3) Cursed.

The Series Part 1…

In Part 1 of the series, a catastrophic event occurs in the fey world. Just when the wars between Seelie and Unseelie have finally ended and it was decided to unite under one Court, The Mounds is destroyed.  Death and loss to both sides is enormous and only a few fey survived the devastation.  There are no answers or explanation and too much to deal with to even start inquiring.

The story from Lugh’s perspective is told in End of the World.  At first Lugh thinks the Unseelie Elite leader, Jhaer, is responsible for the catastrophe.  Its known that the Unseelie Elite isn’t in favor of the union and the attack is coming from the earth; which is Jhaer’s element to control.  However, Lugh soon realizes that what is happening is much worse than what Jhaer is capable of or what even he would do.  Fearing Danu is in danger and the fact that she alone controls the magic of all the fey, Lugh rushes to see to her while Jhaer tries to hold off the attack.  I can’t really say any more on Lugh’s story, as it would be a huge spoiler.

Jhaer in Aftershock then tells the same event from his point of view.  Even though Jhaer is not in support of the union of Seelie and Unseelie courts, he was not the cause of the collapse.  Jhaer’s magic is of the earth element and he tries desperately to stop the devastation from occurring even to his own peril.  However, it is in vain and to his dismay, he cannot stop the catastrophe from happening. 

After the collapse, Jhaer enters the earth realm, changes his name to Donovan to blend in with humans, and with the help of a friend, finds an alternate source of magic – one that is even more pure than what he had in the Mounds.  He sought out other fey that migrated from the Mounds years ago and were earthborn, found many and started to rebuild.

In the meantime, we are introduced to London in Cursed.  London is a human private investigator with a paranormal client base.  As a human, she is susceptible to many things supernatural; however, she manages to stay safe through caution, watchfulness and by making herself very useful to those who cannot move in the human world. 

Most of her clients are vamps and weres - basically part human – so she was not experienced in dealing with her new fey client.  All her carefulness could not arm her from becoming cursed with the Touch of the Sidhe.  The Touch is highly addictive, life-long and without the energy release from a Sidhe, a human can die.  It’s comparable to a heroin addiction except there’s no cure.  London is now under the total control of the fey.

The Main Characters…

So, a little about the main characters in the series… None of them seem to be truly good or truly bad.  We would expect Lugh to be the good one or the hero given he is The Champion of the Sidhe, from the Seelie court and considered the Light fey.  Conversely, we expect Jhaer to be his evil nemesis from the Unseelie court considered the Dark fey.  However, reading the same story from different perspectives shows us that this is not the case at all.  Both have good and evil traits.  I think it’s going to be hard for us to pick a side if we are apt to do so.

Lugh is the King of the Seelie court; protector of all the fey and his successes in battle earned him the title of Champion of the Sidhe.  He is larger than life and considers himself above most, especially the Unseelie. He is deemed “The Shining One” because his magic controls the Sun.  He is certain the best path for the fey is to unite the Seelie and Unseelie courts and refuses to accept anything else.  In the midst of the attack, Lugh showed that he is indeed a great leader by quickly assessing the best way to protect all fey is to protect the All-Mother.

Jhaer/now Donovan
Jhaer is the leader of the Elites who worked his way up through the ranks proving he worthy to hold that title.  He seems more driven to protect the Unseelie fey since they are considered lower in class than the Seelie.  That changes after the collapse of the Mounds and he is very protective and caring towards all the fey he finds on earth surface.  He is already establishing himself as their leader.  But don’t be fooled by this kindness.  I have a feeling he is going to turn out to be a bit of a bad boy as the series progresses.

London is a fearless and courageous heroine.  She is comfortable working around the paranormals she deals with on a daily basis and faces things head on.  She has good intuition and is able to see what most humans can’t or don’t want to see.  She’s a good-hearted person trying to help others; however, now that she’s cursed, I think things will have to change for her.  She may find herself doing things she would not have before.  It will be interesting to see how this will play out for her since there’s no cure.  How far will she go and what will she do to get the next fix?    

Bottom Line

Given my love of myths, legends and folklore, this series had a lot going for it before I even started reading.  Archer & Ravynheart have created a very engaging tale.  The writing is great, the plot is interesting, the characters are multi-dimensional and the delivery is superb.  Quite a feat given the entire 3 books adds up to the length of a novella.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I am.  I’ve already read Part 2 so the review will be posted soon. 

Happy Reading!

4 Bad Boys – Really Enjoyed It!!!!



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