“I see a city of gleaming black stone that shines with jewel-colors: crimson, royal purple and blue. I see labyrinthine passages and rooms where you can lose yourself for days, months. Lofty pillars. Balconies onto a crystal-clear night full of stars, great sparkling white galaxies like flowers. Statues of winged men looking down with timeless eyes. And through this citadel walk graceful mean and women with lovely elongated faces and calm, knowing eyes. They take the names of gods, on occasion. Sometimes they are heroic and help the world. And sometimes they are malicious and turn it upside down….”
In this third installment of the Aetherial trilogy by Freda Warrington, all the pieces in the puzzle come together. All family ties are brought together. New relationships are formed. The Spiral and Earth are brought back to harmony. It all ends here. Yet every end is a new beginning.
First of all, can I just say how much I ADORE the artwork of Kinuko Y. Craft? The art that has graced the front of the covers for this series is simply magical. I literally cannot imagine that any other cover artwork could properly portray the sense of mystery and wonder that these do. If you want to see more of this type of artwork to go along with fantastic fantasy books, look up Patricia McKillip. Also wonderful.
But, I digress. This book, this series, has been one of the most delightful reading experiences I have ever enjoyed. From the very first page I was caught up in the wonderful writing style of Freda Warrington; lyrical, descriptive, lush, abundant with sensory overload. The visual imagery that this book evokes is nothing short of magical. I know I keep using that word to describe it, but really that’s the best word to describe any and every aspect of this series. Magical. This is urban fantasy, which I usually don’t enjoy more than epic fantasy. But this book is a subtle blend of new and old, Nature and the suburbs, power and love. It’s really so very beautiful.
And the characters are so incredible! Here are these Aehterial beings; magical, mythical beings, and at some points their dialogue was so frank and hilarious that I burst out laughing on many occasions!
“Can you two show the slightest bit of reverence? It’s a magical pathway! Of course there are no fucking pubs!”
“Your worst nightmare in the world was to spend eternity stuck with me-and here we are, trapped in a cell together! Yes, the gods must be laughing their fucking heads off!”
Even when they are shapeshifting into their Vaelyr forms, you can always identify with these characters because they experience all the same emotions that we do; love, hate, fear, shame, pride, etc.
And at the heart of this book is a love story. And while I wouldn’t by any stretch of the imagination call this book a romance I would say that the romance contained within is beautifully done and very well fleshed out, which is actually a bit rare for a fantasy novel.
I really recommend this book and this series to anyone who enjoys fantasy, no matter what type you prefer. It really has something enjoyable in it for everyone.
“I can’t live a small life. Even if I was wrong, I old to my destiny and I do nothing that is not my own choice.”