This work, by popular fantasy author Tom Holt is an odd book; Unevenly paced with rather unattractive characters who fail to engage the reader's sympathy, it suffers from a deflating ending and too much pseudo explanation of the physics of Fairyland.
It does have the advantages of being genuinely unpredicatable and of actually having things the author wants to say.
Holt seems to be working briskly through some family issues in the book, the father figure is comprehensively undermined, the mother dismissed out of hand as unloved. Some of these passages, particularly where "Daddy George" is subjected to a dehumanising process are a disturbing read.
Ultimately, Tom Holt apparently is rejecting fantasy worlds here. Biting the hand that feeds him, perhaps.The bland, sugar sweet Fairyland is contrasted sharply with the more mundane world, which is nasty and brutish but at least has some meaning. Tellingly, the only environment where Mike, our unimpressive half elven hero, is shown to be anything approaching happy is when he works on a never ending production line with miserable co-workers putting left shoes in boxes. Real life is all we have, Holt suggests; make the best of it,escaping to perfect alternatives is not a option.
Truly a very British book. A brave stab at attacking fantasy works considering the author's other works. Even so, a few more laughs would have been welcome.