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Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson

I waited for this one to become available at the library for quite awhile. It was always checked out and that, coupled with the rather rave reviews I'd read, made me excited to get my hands on it. The cover is decidedly hokey, but I've come to regret bouts of cover-snobbery many a time before. So I resolved not to let it get to me this time. Besides. I finished the book and still can't wrap my mind around what the tairen actually look like. So the creature on the cover is as good a rendering as any, I'm sure. 

Essentially, it is a Cinderella story. One in which the prince is actually a king. A massively overbearing, centuries old king at that. Rain Tairen Soul is well-known throughout the world as the man who almost destroyed it all when his beloved was killed. His rage was of such a magnitude that it nearly scorched the world. Thousands upon thousands died as a result. This all took place nigh unto a thousand years ago and Rain has spent the intervening years basically trying to hang onto his sanity and not give into his anger and sorrow. Enter Ellie--found on the side of the road as a child and taken in by a woodcarver and his wife. In a moment of utter terror, her soul cries out and Rain's hears it. He comes immediately to her rescue and the two of them attempt to make sense of what has happened to them. And what has happened is that they are soul mates. That's right. Rain has love thrust upon him centuries after he thought he was through with it for good. And Ellie has it swoop down upon her for the first time in her life. It's all very anguished and touching. 

Except it's not. 

I don't know if it's just that the story's been done before and in more compelling ways. Or if it's the he's older than Methuselah and she's a spring chicken ick factor. But it didn't do it for me. It's like the whole time the story was telling me, I am So Epic. Bask in my epicness! And Rain was storming around yelling at me, I am So Tortured. Revel in my anguish! Meanwhile, Ellie was tip-toeing around in his wake whispering, I am fragile but with a Core Of Steel. Underestimate me at your peril! But none of it felt real. It just felt like the veneer of epicness and torture and steel cores. There was also a string of women drugged and manipulated against their will which really rubbed me wrong. And did anyone else think Ellie should totally be with Bel? Or was that just me? Now the story certainly had its sweet moments. How could it not? At just over 400 pages, it never gets beyond the courtship stage of Rain and Ellie's relationship. But even then, I didn't feel like they got to know each other well. But I didn't feel like I knew them either so it wasn't that great a loss. I do have to say that this book (and series) is dearly beloved by many so, clearly, your mileage may (and probably will) vary. It may very well fly for you. But, for me, it never got its feet off the ground. 

Comments

  1. Oh.

    : (

    So sorry to hear it didn't work for me... as you can see from my review I absolutely adore this series ; )

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  2. Hmm I've never heard of this serires. Maybe I'll look into it. I might like it. But i don't knoww :/

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  3. Anonymous8:19 AM

    I enjoyed this one, and its sequel even more. My favorite character, however, is secondary, and, for whatever reason, I immediately felt a connection to him. I'm sorry to hear this one didn't pan out for you, but at least you gave it a try.

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  4. Anonymous2:06 PM

    This is one book I've been meaning to finish for the TBR Day challenge I've been doing - and I still haven't gotten past the first couple of chapters.

    Sigh. I know so many people just adore this (hi Ana :-), but I really haven't felt it yet. Maybe I should skip a few chapters and try starting from there.

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  5. I enjoyed your review. :) I've never heard of this series and I'm not sure if I'll ever venture into it. But I know what you mean about cover snobbery! I'm so prone to that..I know it's a bad thing, but it's so easy to do.

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  6. Ana, you were in the forefront of my mind while I was writing the review. I really wanted to like it, but I just couldn't. I felt so bad!

    Li, sounds like you had a similar experience. If you do give it another go, let me know what you think.

    Chelle, which character is your favorite?

    Rachel, I know! It's also lame when I have a hard time passing a truly wonderful book on because of a bad cover.

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  7. Oh, I'm sorry you didn't like it! I've loved these books for years and years, since before either Wilson or I had published books. It's actually been really hard for me to keep my mouth shut as the series has been released, since I knew what was coming next. Perhaps the developments in the next part of the book will make it grow on you -- I know this is the only way the story could be published, but it really is one story divided into four, rather than four separate books (like my books).

    That's JMHO, though. The legions of fans reading it one at a time feel differently, I'm sure. ;-)

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  8. Anonymous4:58 PM

    My favorite is Bel (or, to give him his full name, Belliard vel Jelani.) He stood out from the start for me, for whatever reason, and I tend to seek out his name on the page. I get like that. :)

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  9. It's like the whole time the story was telling me, I am So Epic. Bask in my epicness! And Rain was storming around yelling at me, I am So Tortured. Revel in my anguish!

    Bwahahaha! (Milk would be spurting out of my nose, if I were drinking milk)

    I hear where you are coming from. I actually really liked this first book, so far as romance fantasy goes (not fantasy romance--there's a difference IMO). But...let's just say it's a good thing you haven't read book 2 (I didn't even review it, as it was so very meh--all the problems you have with this book are magnified 100-fold in book 2).

    I'm still glad you gave this a shot though :) And hey, at least you got it from the library, right? ;)

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  10. Diana, I would go nuts being one of the few who knew what happens and not being able to tell anyone! And you're right. I could definitely tell it was just the first bit of a much larger story.

    Chelle, see Bel was my favorite as well! Now he was just plain awesome. So much so that I couldn't help wishing Ellie fell in love with him and left Rain to cozy up with his pain.

    Thea, I agree about the difference between romance fantasy and fantasy romance. I suppose I haven't really read enough of the former to say whether or not this one is one of the better ones. But given what you said about book 2, I will definitely not be picking it up.

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