Thursday, January 1, 2009
Wondrous Strange by Leslie Livingston
Wondrous Strange (Wondrous Strange (Hardback))
Since the dawn of time, the Faerie have taken. . . .
For seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow, faeries are just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery, whose steel-gray eyes mask an equally steely determination to protect her.
Sonny guards the Samhain Gate, which connects the mortal realm with the Faerie's enchanted, dangerous Otherworld. Usually kept shut by order of icy King Auberon, the Gate stands open but once a year.
This year, as the time approaches when the Samhain Gate will swing wide and nightmarish Fae will fight their way into an unsuspecting human world, something different is happening . . . something wondrous and strange. And Kelley's eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her but to the heritage that awaits her.
Now Kelley must navigate deadly Faerie treachery—and her growing feelings for Sonny—in this dazzling page-turner filled with luminous romance.
Wondrous Strange is a richly layered tale of love between faerie and mortal, betrayal between kings and queens, and magic . . . between author and reader.
This is an excellent debut novel by Leslie Livingston, full of all the magic, treachery, romance and surprises one comes to expect in stories about the Fae. Don't think that this is just another fairy tale though. Livingston's prose is lyrical and magical and she makes this story her own. The vocabulary and descriptions are rich and satisfying as the author skips the use of slang and cliches, creating beautiful art with words. Kelley Winslow is a delightful character and Sonny Flannery will charm young and old alike. When you're dealing with the fae, nothing is as it seems. It's difficult to tell friend from foe and sometimes they are the same.
Livingston definitely did her homework. The scene explaining The Wild Hunt was nicely done but we also meet some new personalities from folklore for the YA audience: The Black Shuck, the Pict Sidhe or Boucca (some Moning fans will recognize this character as Adam Black-the original Puck although in this story they are not at all the same), and the Janus.
There are quite a few books out about the Fair Folk but they're definitely not all the same. Leslie Livingston, with her debut novel, ranks up there with the magical, classy writing of Melissa Marr but it's not dark and edgy. The book has great cross over appeal because it's intelligently written and timeless in the telling. The cover art is beautiful, reminiscent of Marr's books. Even the title has a Marr feel to it.
4 stars for this one and I can't wait for the sequel.