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Review: Elfland by Freda Warrington

>>Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Title: Elfland
Author: Freda Warrington
Series: Aetherial Tales #1
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 236/463
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: August 18, 2009
Publisher: Tor Books
Rating: No Grade

This book is part of the 2011 Women of Fantasy book club hosted by Jawas Read, Too!.

From Goodreads:
Elfland is an intimate, sensual novel of people—both human and Aetherial—caught between duty and desire. It’s a story of families, and of Rose Fox, a woman born to magic but tormented by her place in her adopted world.

Led by Auberon Fox, a group of Aetherials—call them the Fair Folk, if you will—live among us, indistinguishable from humans. Every seven years, on the Night of the Summer Stars, Lawrence Wilder, the Gatekeeper, throws open all gates to the Other World. But this time, something has gone wrong. Wilder has sealed the gates, warning of a great danger lurking in the realm beyond them. The Aetherial community is outraged. What will become of them, deprived of the home realm from which their essential life force flows?

Rose Fox and Sam Wilder are drawn to the lands beyond the gates, even as their families feud over Lawrence’s refusal to do his duty. Struggling with their own too-human urges, they discover hidden truths that draw them together in a forbidden alliance. Only by breaching the dreaded gates and daring the danger beyond can they confront that which they fear most— their otherness—and claim their birthright.

I've given this book a rating of 'No Grade' because I didn't finish it. I really tried to, but for reasons which I will explain here, I lost interest in moving forward.

The novel starts off interestingly enough: we're introduced to Rosie Fox as a young girl whose family is from the fairy realm, accessed through the Gates. These Gates are closed to them by Lawrence, another Aetherial, due to his belief of evil lurking on the other side, ready to escape.

Through the next 200 pages or so, we grow up with Rosie and her family and all the drama that goes with it. It reminded me of a soap opera, where all the characters are fae, yet they merely only talk about it. It's rare we get to see any Aetherial action. Enormous amount of time is spent on love affairs, adultery, and drugs. I felt this annoyance in the plot events was doubled by the fact that I never really liked Rosie. Everyone would say how nice and good a person she is, but she's rather selfish, passive and abrasive. I never understood why she made certain desicions such as those relating to her romantic life. I felt like drama was created for the sake of drama. I also didn't care for Sam very much: the stereotypical bad boy the main female character can't help fall in love (or lust) with.

For 200-something pages we are given all this backstory and I ultimately stopped reading for lack of movement of the main plot: getting the Gates open or defeating the evil presence beyond them. I wasn't interested in the family saga.


  1. Hmmm, thanks for the review. I have this one on my want list. But this is all very interesting to know. I appreciate your honest review here.

  2. @Melissa: No problem. I think there's a some great qualities of this book (ex. the writing) and you might like it a lot better than I have. :)

  3. As strange as it sounds I enjoy reading reviews that are kind yet the reviewer didn't much click with the book. It's nice to know that not everyone enjoyes every book. I don't expect everyone to. So to read an honest and yet kind review makes me think on the book more. :) thank you.

  4. I'm glad to hear someone else didn't like Rosie. I couldn't stand her!

  5. I completely agree. I just stopped as well and had no interest in going back to it. It hadn't occurred to me until I read your review that I also didn't like Rosie. I thought I was just skipping pages. But in retrospect they were all Rosie pages.
    Clélie Rich



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