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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A joy
Elfland is a faerie tale for adults, a true faerie tale in that the book deals with a race of beings called Aetherials, who were what the humans thought were faeries; angels, vampires or demons. The mythology is great, but it is also an all too human tale of love, loss, fear and courage.

I can't condense the plot too much; it is too epic to even try, and this...
Published on 10 Sept. 2009 by Annette Gisby

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More romance with some fantasy elements than fantasy with some romance elements
Elfland centres around the community of Aetherials, members of a fairy race who have chosen to live in the human world, indistinguishable from regular mortals. Once every seven years, Lawrence Wilder throws open the Gates between the worlds to allow access to the fairy realm, known as the Spiral. However, when the book opens Lawrence refuses to open the Gates and instead...
Published on 20 April 2011 by Katie Stevens


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A joy, 10 Sept. 2009
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Elfland is a faerie tale for adults, a true faerie tale in that the book deals with a race of beings called Aetherials, who were what the humans thought were faeries; angels, vampires or demons. The mythology is great, but it is also an all too human tale of love, loss, fear and courage.

I can't condense the plot too much; it is too epic to even try, and this is only one of the first books in this new series. The story mainly concerns two families, the Foxes and the Wilders who live on earth but are Aetherial in nature and desire. Lawrence Wilder is the Gatekeeper; mad as a hatter living in the fortress-like house of Stonegate. The Aetherials can move between worlds on the night of the Summer Stars when the Gatekeeper opens the portal between the worlds; but one night he refuses to do so, spouting out about a great danger that awaits if he even tries. But is he just delusional or is there really something out to get them?

This book was a joy to read. I'm not normally a fan of urban fantasy, but for some reason this one drew me in and I felt like I was in the book with the characters and all the strange and wondrous places they visited. The romance flowed with the story, it didn't just suddenly apppear out of nowhere as if the author just wanted to put the romance in. The romance was part of it from the beginning. The book draws you in and by the end you feel you too have gone on a strange quest and come out relatively unscathed.

A keeper.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More romance with some fantasy elements than fantasy with some romance elements, 20 April 2011
By 
Katie Stevens "Ygraine" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Elfland centres around the community of Aetherials, members of a fairy race who have chosen to live in the human world, indistinguishable from regular mortals. Once every seven years, Lawrence Wilder throws open the Gates between the worlds to allow access to the fairy realm, known as the Spiral. However, when the book opens Lawrence refuses to open the Gates and instead seals all entrances to the Spiral in order to keep the Aetherials safe from a threat which he will not name. Some continue with their lives, becoming increasingly human, while others resent Lawrence's decision and try to find ways to force his hand. Meanwhile the Aetheiral children grow up without ever having visited their magical homeland and both Rosie Fox and her brother Matthew marry humans. But Rosie is continually tempted by a life outside of her mundane, human existence, epitomised in the form of tempting bad boy Sam Wilder. Like the problem of the gates, this cannot be ignored and soon things reach boiling point.

I'm sure there are a great many people out there who love this book, but personally I found it very frustrating. What this book reveals about the Aetherials and the world inside the Spiral as fascinating, but I felt that the fact that the characters were part of a semi-immortal race of fairies was irrelevant for about 70% of the plot which instead focused around normal, mundane things like family relationships and whether the heroine will choose her safe, ordinary husband or the attractive bad boy that she seems unable to resist (hmmmm, I wonder how that will work out. No prizes for guessing). At times it seemed that the only special thing about being Aetherial is that it leads to lots of really great sex. Which is fine, but I wanted to read about how the Aetherials live and the problems of the gate between the two worlds being closed and then cracked open again, not about how much better sex is for them.

Because I picked this book up expecting a fantasy novel, I found the lack of focus on this aspect of the novel to be incredibly irritating. I couldn't get to like any of the characters, not least because a lot of them were cliche-riddled, but also because I was increasingly annoyed at their interactions distracting from what should have been the main plot concerning the cracking open of the gates. I found myself racing through the relationship stuff in order to get to the main meat of the fantasy plot, only to discover that it never really came. This is a shame, because the little that was shown of the Spiral was fascinating. The Aetherial world and mythology sounds really interesting and I only wish that there had been more of it and that there had been more time given over to developing it.

Elfland is book one of the Aetherial Tales series, of which Warrington has written one more book at present. As her interests and mine don't really correspond (I like a bit of romance with my fantasy, not the other way around) I doubt I'll be continuing with the series. It would however be a really great book for someone who typically reads romance novels and would like to try out a new genre
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Promised so much, delivered so little, 4 Sept. 2011
By 
Moondark (Hertfordshire) - See all my reviews
Elfland (Tor Fantasy)

My low rating of this book pains me since my expectations were so high, given that I have been a fan of Freda Warrington for years. The concept promised so much and I felt that Freda was well positioned, given her wondrous Blackbird fantasy series as well as other fantasy tales, to deliver something truly magical. For all that `Elfland' is set in a land of a fae race of beings, there is little magic in it. I was ready to be taken into a world ruled by old magic, old belief systems, where spirits such as elves, faeries and elementals play a very real part in people's lives and fortunes. The story is set in the modern day where humans live alongside a fae race, but only on occasion do we see glimpses of the fairy world. The concentration on the mundane details of human daily life - which should only punctuate the magical, fairy world - overtakes it, and renders the sudden switches to `Elfland' rather unbelievable and slightly ridiculous.

Perhaps there is also an over reliance on the romantic aspect of the story, as other reviewers have suggested. However I am more than happy with romance in my fantasy, so was propelled along by this, only to be disappointed by the unreality of situations. Freda is normally fantastic at building characters you can understand and love, however I felt she didn't do justice to her characters in this book and many were one-dimensional and often predictable. She made you love the character of Jon - the beautiful, long-haired, poetic Wilder son - but his troubled story is never properly resolved which made me very annoyed and frustrated. I did love the character of Sam, but couldn't help but see very obvious similarities with a certain character in Buffy...he both looked and talked exactly like Spike (probably why I liked him, but still...!). I couldn't believe in the main character, Rosie, at all.

Another major irritation was where the drama of a situation is heavily built up, you're intrigued to know what's going to happen next... only to find that the story suddenly stops and skips several months or years!

Overall I got the impression that Freda wanted to do too much with this book, and ended up spreading herself too thinly. Either it should have been a saga about the lives of the Wilders; or an exploration of elves, fairies and old magic; or a modern day romance. In trying to be too much it didn't succeed on any of these levels for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magical!, 30 Aug. 2012
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I began to read Elfland, having previously read Freda's Blood Wine Trilogy and at first it didn't appeal as much. I thought it may be written with a younger audience in mind, a kind of Harry Potter meets His Dark Materials. We meet Rosie, aged 9, then again aged 14 and we learn of 'fylgia' which at first reminded me of Pullman's'demons'.
I'm really pleased I kept reading as it rapidly became much more interesting as Rosie grew older. There is so much depth that a short review can hardly do it justice. I liked it more than Pullman's Northern Lights etc. The characters are so real, though they live in an extra sensory reality. Other reviews have criticised the story for being either too much focussed on day to day happenings, or having too much fantasy. The author cannot win here as different readers want different things. For me the mix was just about right. I like day to day life being coloured with otherwordly sensitivities and Freda Warrington does this so well. The description is amazing as if she actually visited these places, felt these things. It just blends and doesn't feel false at all. For me, this makes this genre an ideal escape from reality which is what I'm looking for when I turn off the TV.
The idea of 'fade' and 'Spiral' took me back to the 'Crystal Ring' in the Vampire stories, though I stress for those who don't like vampires, there are none in Elfland. It is a complete story, and I understand that the next book in what will be a trilogy has different characters living in the same worlds. I've just bought it and I'm looking forward to reading it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elfland, 15 Jan. 2010
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I loved this book. At nearly 67 years of age, I could have wept when I finished it. I tried to make it last as long as I could, but eventually the last page was turned and now I wait impatiently for the second in the series.

This was a really great book if you like fairy tales and can believe there may be parallel worlds. If you liked Philip Pullman, you will like this. As a Pagan, elves and fairies are part of my culture, so I found reading this as natural as breathing. I'm putting no spoilers in here, or attempting to explain the plot. Other reviewers have done that before me and well, but the ending is good and quite a surprise. The whole story is breathtakingly written. Ms. Warrington's descriptions have one believing that all this exists, if we only knew where to look.I found it very difficult to put down.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Elfland, 5 July 2012
I had not heard of Freda Warrington until I found myself buying and reading book 1 of her jewelfire trilogy from a poundsaver. I then brought book 2 and then looked for other books she had written. As Elfland was more recent I got my son to buy it for me for Christmas.

It is a lovely story of family secrets, romance and Faery magic beliefs. It is set in present day with the young characters coming together after years of their parents hiding secrets about a mysterious world that is locked away for fear of its contents.

I am an avid reader of fantasy books by female writers and it is refreshing to find a different story that does not involve kings&Queens, War and Quests. This story involved mystery, beliefs and family secrets with a big dose of unexpected romance.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Naughty Faeries!, 23 May 2013
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Read this as I loved the Blood Wine Trilogy and it didn't disappoint. Yes it is is a little slow to warm up and you'll have to stick with the first few chapters but that's because she is building up the characters. What Warrington is incredibly good at is getting you to relate to the characters, making them feel real. And she does that excellently as still a week on I keep thinking about the characters. They are flawed and each have their own stories and they are in a sense all as bad as each other. There is no one "bad" character. I couldn't put the book down and would definitely recommend it to others if you like a little fantasy in your romance.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as I expected, 12 Sept. 2010
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I am a huge fan of both fantasy and paranormal romance, and having read Warringtons Blackbird series 20 years ago as a teenager, this new book seemed to cover both bases. But although it was an adequate and, at times, interesting read I wouldn't describe as enough to be a fantasy nor enough to be a romance, I would rather describe it as a family saga type book.
Most of the book is the day to day and year to year lives of 2 families, who have otherworld roots but there is little of this in their day to day lifes. The couple of interactions with their other world are quite limited and not very "fantasy", more dreamlike.
As a romance, I was disappointed - to me, a good romance needs chemistry and a good male lead and Sam was rather disappointing, as was Rosie and no matter the circumstances, that they had an affair just is not romantic to me.
Warringtons style or writing will not be to everyones tastes but I would suggest try it and see.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous fantasy, 9 Feb. 2010
By 
Mary Beth Bass (East Coast) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Elfland by Freda Warrington is a gorgeous, intricate fantasy. I couldn't put it down. Beautiful!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off if you don't normally read fantasy, 26 Dec. 2009
The writing is so good, the characters so believable, and the story spellbinding, that I was completely drawn in to the worlds created by Ms Warrington. The synopsis of the book cannot begin to do it justice, and I just hope that it will not put too many people off! Ms Warrington has that rare capacity of making her heroes truly sexy, and her writing is often very erotic without being particularly explicit.
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