A Thief of Nightshade by J.S. Chancellor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book Info: Genre: Paranormal Suspense/Faeries Reading Level: Adult Available Available in hardcover and eBook editions now; Available in Paperback October 1, 2012 from Rhemalda Publishers
Disclosure: I received a free eBook copy of this text from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Avalar isn't real—at least it wasn't supposed to be. Aubrey never expected to fall in love with and marry her graduate writing professor, Jullian. His life's work, a grim fantasy titled A Thief of Nightshade encompassed everything Aubrey hated about fairy tales and make-believe. After Jullian goes missing and is eventually presumed dead, Aubrey discovers just how make-believe the world of Nightshade is. Not only is Jullian alive and well in Avalar, he's at the mercy of the Dark Fae, condemned to a fate worse than death, with no memory of Aubrey or his time in her world. In order to save him, she'll have to confront more than just the demons in her past, but the very real ones that await her in a place she never thought could exist. All of them will do everything in their power to stop her
My Thoughts: I have really loved the first two books in Chancellor’s Guardians of Legends series; she has a great writing style and imaginative ideas. This book is very different, plot-wise, but maintains that high level of writing skill and imagination. I enjoyed the dark nature of this faerie story; a lot of people think all faeries are goodness and light and little flying people, but that’s not the case at all. Those stories came about because people were scared to death of the Good Folk, and called them such in an attempt to propitiate them and keep them happy in hopes that they wouldn’t decide to do something nasty in retaliation.
I have to say I have a bit of a thing for the Goblin King – have ever since seeing David Bowie in Labyrinth. I think the Goblin King is a very lonely, very sad figure who just goes about trying to find love in the wrong way. Also, Goblins are notoriously cruel but they do have a form of honor and, if you understand their culture and are strong enough and cruel enough, you can survive. I probably get these ideas from reading the Laurell K. Hamilton Mercedes Gentry books, but I do know I’ve seen and heard stories about the Goblin King before, and it always struck me for some reason.
Be sure to read the afterword and acknowledgments; it provides a bit of background on the story, where it came from, and some of what Ms. Chancellor hoped to accomplish by telling it. It brought tears to my eyes – of course, almost everything it doing that right now, so I guess I should be sure you are aware of that.
The only real problem didn’t really have much to do with the book – it’s just that the graphics at the beginning of each chapter slowed my Kindle to a crawl when it came time to turn the page, taking in the vicinity of a minute each time I hit one of the chapter beginnings. I don’t know if it is was because this was a .pdf format document or if it is just my Kindle hates me, or if this is a common problem with graphics-intensive eBooks on the Kindle. Since I try to avoid reading graphics-intensive books on my Kindle for fear of just this sort of thing, it could be. I don’t know if the Kindle version will have this problem – I’m reading a .pdf format, so that could be part of the problem. Anyway, I soldiered it out until 61% on my Kindle, then gave up and read the rest on my computer. Edit: Please note that the actual .mobi format, for Kindle, does not have this problem - it was only the .pdf file that was slow to load at the chapter breaks.
At any rate, I highly recommend this book to just about anyone. Very well-done, great stuff, not that I expected any less from this highly talented writer.
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