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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second part of this excellent duology, 6 Nov 2007
By 
Helen Hancox "Auntie Helen" (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
'Lady of Light and Shadows' is the second instalment in the duology about the Tairen Soul. This book definitely doesn't work on its own and would be very difficult to read as a first book, it follows immediately on from 'Lord of the Fading Lands' and continues the story of Rain and Ellie which was so gripping in that first instalment. The first book didn't finish at a particularly pivotal moment and the second instalment picks up straight up from that point and continues with the story as more and more depth and excitement is layered into the novel, including a previously mentioned character arriving to play a significant part in the action. It's a good thing that they have been published so closely together as they really don't work on their own; however, as a pair of books making one story, they are brilliant.

In this story Ellie's troubles increase as she continues to go through the complicated pre-marriage rituals. Each day of her life seems to become more and more complex with the difficulties between her and her family (mainly her mother) echoed by the political machinations between the King of Celieria, Rain Tairen Soul and the evil Mages of the Eld. Ellie's bridegroom, Rain Tairen Soul, is a fascinating character and she learns more about him as the book progresses; however Ellie is also learning more about herself and much of what she is learning looks bad. The narrator gives us insights into what is happening in Eld and we learn more about Ellie's provenance, much of the information seeming very worrying. How can Ellie be the good person that she seems with the history that she has had, and is she merely being positioned as Rain's mate in order to destroy the Fey from within?

We meet a few new characters in this book including a staunch new protector for Ellie but also the people who have caused her magical abilities to be shielded - and why. The evil forces are working in many different ways to capture Ellie and she is in danger from those whom she loves, both physical and emotional danger. A continual theme is whether Ellie is courageous or just trying to survive but she's a plucky heroine who soon realises that to receive what every young woman wishes for - the attention and devotion of Rain Tairen Soul - has a balancing amount of hardship.

In some ways Ellie's Fey quintet guard play less of a role in this story but her new champion proves a pivotal point in the plot as they start to realise who Ellie is and what her powers are. There is a huge final denouement scene where the magic of the fey shows its limitations and where Ellie is required to use her own resources and skills - but are they enough? There are some touching romantic scenes between Rain and Ellie as he continues the courtship but just as much time is given in the novel to the 'courtship' of the nobles and rulers of Celieria, trying to individually influence and encourage them to support Rain's needs.

As a standalone book this doesn't work but read alongside 'Lord of the Fading Lands' it's one of the most exciting fantasy books to have been published in a long time. The author's excellent writing style, the continually gripping nature of the narrative and the occasional light touches to leaven some of the gloom and despair are brilliant. Rain and Ellie are great heroes with faults and difficulties and confusion about their respective roles but with an undergirding of honesty and true natures which make their lives a joy to follow. This is excellent writing that should appeal to all who read it.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book, Helen Hancox 2007
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sequal that proves to be pure delight!, 26 Oct 2007
As I read the last chapters of Lady of light and shadows I closed the book and fell in silent awe for the imagination pouring out of C.L. Wilson's mind. In this second installment of the series I further more tasted the vast set-up of the worlds, its rich depth of the characters and the feeling that as I turned the pages I will discover something new. The plot lures with mysterious intrigue and darkness but also love that reaches out between Rain and Elly and the secondary cast of characters lifts this novel even to greater heights!

In Lady of light and shadows we meet Rain and Elly again, the courtship continues, the Celerian Lords still have many questions they want answered as the Mages reach out with their darkness and new characters introduce themselves with strong voices that need to be heard.

What a joy this novel has proven to be, I felt picked up by Rain and Elly and quickly found myself in their world again as the fragile moments of blossoming love shimmers between them it had an impact on me that swept me of my feet. If there is one thing that C.L. Wilson has a gift for it is to write with such emotion you can feel them vibrating from the pages and her imagination to describe a Fey race with their magic that I can see this in my mind's eye. Besides the romance, the mysteries that unfold themselves more, there is an action in this novel that rendered me breathless as I read the scenes. With also another love that holds me in its grip, two people, together yet apart. They speak of events in the past that has its rippling effect on the present as they remain in the dark. All aspects of this novel compels you to read page after page riding the waves of romance and action, wrapped in thrilling storylines.

C.L. Wilson takes her time to create the background and circumstances for Elly and Rain to shine as the strong characters they are, still the major secondary characters like the Fey quintet, Laurianna, Sol, Marissya, Dax and Gaelen vel Serranis each give their own magic to weave a tale that you can't finish and not talk about it. With the Fey language that enhances the true feel of the world, I love the titles like Shei'tani and Shei'tan, the meaning of it and ads more feeling to certain thoughts or rituals. The ending stills the hunger for romance as you feel that new adventures beckon for Rain, Elly and all the inhabitants of the Celerian and Tairen world. There is still much to be told and C.L. Wilson made an impressive statement with her two-book-release Lord of the fading lands and Lady of light and shadows.

Sometimes a story demands your attention, sometimes a novel demands to be read immediately and in the end rewards you with a stunning tale. Lady of light and shadows is such a novel!

Courtesy of Realms on our Bookshelves
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing!!!, 22 July 2008
By 
Elizabeth (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
I find that I regret all the other 5 stars that I have doled out in Amazon reviews, because this novel is truely worthy of the highest praise and cannot be compared. The 5 stars I award here do not equal the 5 stars I have given to others in the past! If the rating system was out of ten, it would be a definite 9 and a half (because nothing's perfect ha ha).

LADY OF LIGHT AND SHADOWS is the second installment in the Tairen Soul quartet, and follows directly on from LORD OF THE FADING LANDS. The 3rd and 4th books are due out in October this year and Feburary of 2009 (last time I checked the website), and personally I can't wait!

Lady of Light and Shadows follows the tale of Ellie and Rain as they continue to prepare for their wedding, and continue to forge the necessary soul bond that Rain will eventually need to survive. Even though they definitely lust each other, and Rain's very soul calls out for Ellie, their bond is growing almost painfully slowly, as Ellie must fight her continuing nightmares and the darkness within her. She must trust herself and believe in her own powers before she can even begin to accept the soulbond that Rain is offering her, and even though another reader mentioned that they were almost too many sex scenes, I would have to disagree! Unlike other paranormal romances - although I would hesitate to label this series as such; it is a fantasy novel as well as a romance. The minor characters (ie not Ellie or Rain) are very well drawn and have very strong personalities that shine through the pages, such as Marissya and Laurianna, and there is a strong plot that twists and turns throughout. It is not just about Rain and Ellie, but rather the events in the world around them. - the sex is not over-done, and in fact shows the developing respect and love that the main characters have for each other. Actually, the L-word is not uttered aloud until the end of the novel, which makes it all the more believable than other 'love' stories in other novels, where the characters fall in love after 2 chapters! The Tairen inside Rain is very protective over Ellie, and certainly urges him on to possess her and claim her as his own, but the love doesn't come until later on...

Ellie has to fight the demons/nightmares that have been haunting her her entire life, and the reader witnesses her growth in strength and character. Or rather, the bravery and courage that has always lain dormant inside her comes alive. We also find out about her origins in this novel, and I have to say I was often moved to tears by the heart-wrencing plight of two new characters, who are subjected to horrendous cruelty in some scenes of the novel.

Unlike some novels, the characters are far from wooden, and therefore the baddies really are 'bad'! C. L. Wilson's world is very well thought out, and the layers of depth continue to grow in this novel. Customs and beliefs feel very real, and even the history behind them. The plot is a constant page-turner, with just the right blend of romance, action, manipulation from minor characters, love, anger, magic...you won't be able to put it down, so make sure you have enoough time to read it before you begin!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous, 15 Feb 2008
have just read both books[Lord of the Fading Lands] they are marvellous.Wonderful to find another brillent ski-fi author, in the same mould as Davis Eddings or Anne McCaffrey.You need to read them all and in order otherwise they won't make sense, they are not meant to stand alone. I can't wait for the next 2 in the series due I think the end of the year.Definately keepers, I know I will enjoy re-reading them again and again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lady of Light and Shadows, 20 May 2014
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An absolute stunner of a sequel to the first book that picks up exactly where the first book finished. You will learn more about the characters that you already have heard of but one character in particular is introduced that has such a pivotal role in this and the rest of the books. There is more character "layering" in this book although Ellie's fey quintet actually play a smaller role than in the first. This is all to the good though.

C L Wilson is able to describe the peoples and the lands that they inhabit with such precision that you will be able to see it in your mind's eye without any difficulty. All of the characters weave together so well and each enhances the other.

“If honor were reserved only for those who never err, none of us would be worthy,”
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingness continues, 13 Sep 2013
By 
Christina (Thessaloniki,Greece) - See all my reviews
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Okay I finished this book in two days, I just couldn't put it down and now I can't stop thinking about it! They story was even better than the first book, whenever you thought the story was already complex and all the scenes perfeclty bound together - boom! it surprises you again with turns you didn't expect and it gets more captivating and suspenseful (I think that's the word that describes best the final chapters!) Especially in the end with all the action and the powerful feelings I just felt that I couldn't read fast enough!
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5.0 out of 5 stars 2nd book in the series, 5 Aug 2013
By 
LEP "LEP" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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Much better than book 1, far more action in it and less 'on heat' angst by Rain. To be honest I thought that she could have shortened book 1 somewhat. Here we have the character of Gaelen coming to kill Elly because he believes that she is the daughter of the Mage of Eld and will destroy the fey. Elly is coming into her magic, but still cannot call it to her when she intentionally wants to. Elly's mother is becoming paranoid about the fey and feels that they are evil and turning her daughter into something evil. So she embarks on a course of action which may mean either Elly's life, or sending her to the Eld Mage. Meanwhile Rain is trying to persuade the Celierian council of nobles not to enter into a trade agreement with Eld, thereby opening their borders to Eld and its Mages.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books i have read, 17 Jan 2013
By 
E. L. Joseph (Aberdeen, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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The second in the series; this book continues where the first one ended - after the disaster at the formal dinner and Ellie's nightmare so immediately Rain must deal with this new threat to his truemate and the damage of Ellie's weave on the lords who will vote on whether to allow the deadly Eld into Celieria.

As with the first book this one has a richness to it; the story has lots of depth and Wilson has packed it with such detail that you get completely absorbed. I don't want to give too many spoilers but this book reveals Ellie's mysterious origins and her and Rain face a real test to their growing relationship which threatens their impending nuptials. Ellysetta's powers begin to reveal themselves in a way the fey never expected and their Feyreisa is at risk from those she should trust the most. What makes this series great is that nothing is rushed; the romance between Ellie and Rain develops slowly (instead of the norm where everything seems to happen too fast) which makes it more realistic (impressive in a book with giant winged cats come to think of it!)

This book is amazing and i cannot wait to start reading King of sword and sky which will she Ellysetta and Rain return to the Fading Lands.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!!!!!, 31 Oct 2011
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I love this series, the characters are captivating, don't want to stop reading them but I have to go to work!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic sequel!, 8 Nov 2009
By 
J. Smyth - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I was enjoying Lord of the Fading Lands so much that I purchased this book when I was a third of the way through it. And I was so glad that I did!

This book picks up where the last one left off (don't try and read it as a stand-alone). Ellysetta, a woodcarver's daughter, has "called" Rain Tairen Soul from the skies. Rain, master of all five Fey magics, is the only Tairen Soul remaining, and therefore King of the Fey. With the soul of one of the great feline Tairen - whose numbers are also dwindling, and whose fate is linked to that of the Fey - he is able to Change into one of the winged, fire-breathing cats. Ellysetta's soul has called out to Rain's, and the start of a Truemate bond has formed between them. If Ellysetta cannot accept the bond, Rain will go mad, but accepting the bond requires complete trust on both sides, and Ellysetta has been hiding something about herself from those around her for a very long time. There is a darkness in her soul, and a strange connection to the Eld, to whom Rain lost his E'tanitsa mate over a thousand years ago.

Having agreed to a Celerian wedding even though the Truemate bond remains unfulfilled, Ellysetta prepares to take her vows. But the Eld are preparing for war, and the High Mage of Eld has plans for Ellysetta, and for the last of the Tairen...
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