Review: Lord of the Fading Lands by CL Wilson

Reviewed by Ronelle

Grief and loss are powerful emotions and no one knows their impact better than the Fey King. After the murder of his beloved, Rain, Tairen Soul laid waste to the world… and then vanished into the Fading Lands. After a thousand years of grieving and trying to recover from madness, he is drawn back into the world. Love is the last thing he wants or expects to find.

Ellysetta is a humble woodcarver’s daughter and while she’s dreamed of the Fey for years, she never imagined she’d come to the attention of one… let alone the King himself. But her soul calls to Rain in a way no other ever had. When he claims her as his truemate, her life changes forever, because Rain won’t be deterred or denied.

Destinies must be embraced, an ancient evil that only the Fey truly remember begins to stir, and alliances teeter on the edge of collapse. And the creatures that sustain the Fey and the Fading Lands are dying. Rain and Elly have more to work out than the complexities of their shei’tanitsa bond.

***

This review is for the audiobook version read by Stephanie Riggio.

I’d heard glowing things about Lord of the Fading Lands and finally decided to give it a listen, since I had an extra Audible credit burning a hole in my pocket. It purported to have all the elements I enjoy in a fantasy romance: magic, danger, intrigue, a mystery, and sizzling passion. At nearly sixteen hours, it was a lengthy listen, but worth the time for sure.

I won’t lie; I felt like this one was slow to start and I struggled to really get into the story. There were a number of reasons for this, including an immense amount of world building, a whole new language to come to terms with, and character/place names that sounded very similar (Kolis, Kelissande, Selianne, Celieria, etc.). I think if I’d had the benefit of seeing them in print, it would have been easier to keep them straight. That being said, once the story built some momentum, it was excellent and now I’m hooked on the series! Ms. Wilson has introduced me to some of my new favorite characters and Ms. Riggio gave them a memorable voice.

And the romance? Hot, hot, HOT! The sexual tension that builds between Rain and Elly is heart-stopping, frustrating, and perfect. He’s arrogant, like one would expect of a millennia-old king and she’s independent and headstrong. They clash on certain points, but seeing them come to compromises and learn to work with each other is so, so rewarding. They’re strong as individuals and as a blossoming couple, and their trials, tribulations, and revelations only serve to elevate the beauty of their relationship. I’d accuse Ms. Wilson of being stingy with the sexy-times between them if it wasn’t for the purpose of building tension and the culmination (in this book) was worth the wait! (As compensation, there are other trysts going on and those are just as steamy.)

While I think Stephanie Riggio was a great choice for narrating Lord of the Fading Lands, there were some issues with the recording. At some points, you can hear her breathe and she occasionally breezes through punctuation. I also noticed that there were almost zero pauses for section/chapter breaks (though this may be true of the printed version as well). However, these problems did seem to get better. She does a great job at making the characters distinct without drastic or overdone voice changes and she conveyed the emotions of scenes beautifully.

Bottom line: I loved this book and I hope the rest of the series it as good. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a truly hot romance amidst a beautiful fantasy setting.

Rating: A-

Click to purchase: Amazon

Lord of the Fading Lands (The Tairen Soul Book 1)
by C.L. Wilson
Narrator: Stephanie Riggio
Release Date: October 7, 2007
Publisher: Leisure Books

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