March 26, 2017

Faery in Shadow by C. J. Cherryh

Title:  Faery in Shadow
Author:  C. J. Cherryh
Pages:  310
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Del Rey, 1994
Series:  Stand Alone

Synopsis:  A curse, a sin, and a dark bargain with the Sidhe had condemned Caith mac Sliabhan to wander the wild woods, outcast from all humankind.  Only Dubhain -- a pooka, a Sidhe sprite -- was his companion.  Caith now was bound to do the will of the Sidhe, always fearing that his own taint would somehow make him cause pain and sorrow to others...

But even an outcast like Caith could not resist taking refuge in a forest cabin, where two mysterious golden youths, boy and girl, dwelled.  "Husband and wife, we are," the boy said, but Caith would have sworn they were twins..

The mysterious couple were under a spell themselves -- and despite his curse, Caith felt compelled to aid them.  Caith soon fell into a dark adventure that led him and the Sidhe into the evil hands of the notorious witch of Dun Glas.

Review:  C. J. Cherryh is one of my top three favorite authors, yet this book has languished on my shelf since 2010.  I love this author's science fiction, particularly her Foreigner series, but her fantasy is sometimes wonderful and sometimes not.  So, her fantasy novels are often neglected because I'm half-afraid they won't be as good as I expect them to be.

This one, however, was strange and fey and darkly magical.  I won't say I adored it, but I will say I couldn't put it down this weekend.  It was hard to read in places.  The characters' accents are difficult to translate at times.  It was very much worth reading, however, and I'm sorry I waited so long to give it a try.

Rating:  6 / 10

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