I picked up the first book in this series by chance (Sixty-One Nails (Courts of the Feyre 1)
) and enjoyed it so much, that I was determined to buy the sequel - so no doubt,I am now a fan!
Both books are real page-turners, where you just have to find out how it's all going to pan out and what happens to Niall next. They move along at a fair pace and towards the end of this installment, it's truly breath-taking!
Generally, this style of fantasy comes out of the US and as others have mentioned, it's really nice to have British locations that feel and in fact are real places - although the author admits that the seaside location, was an amalgamation of a few Yorkshire villages.
The way this book started, reminded me very much of a UK version of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files - the books, not the TV series. Where Niall becomes a warder and finds out more about the Courts of the Feyre - this covers ground that Harry Dresden treads - but it diverges, where we actually get to the matter at hand and the "meat" of the book.
So there is a clear "theme" which gives this book depth and a real feeling of actually being about something, rather than a "diversion" with magic and weird creatures.
What this is clearly all about, is the relationship between Fathers and their daughters as they grow up and how it's possible to cope with the loss of your "little girl" as they turn into women - or in more tragic cicumstances how is it possible to cope with their death/disappearance?
Niall investigates a case which throws up various possibilities for how you can lose a daughter and each is equally moving and emotional - but of course there is the possibility to come to terms with a daughter becoming a woman, which is absent in the case of early and sudden death.
Niall experiences the grief and then wonders whether it would be easier to deal with death over the possibility of his daugher Alex becoming a wraith-like monster. Then in the case he investigates, the possibilities for a resolution, are laid out before him.
I won't spoil the ending of course - but I just wanted to point out where this is more than simply a magical thriller - although the weirdness and magic are all there, adding excitement and unlimited possibilities throughout.
I imagine, anyway that there will be more, as the 7th Court are still an unresolved problem and I look forward to this greatly! Most enjoyable read of 2011 so far.