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C.L. Wilson

book review C.L. Wilson Fading Lands C.L. Wilson wrote her first story at age six, and though she took a number of long detours during her life, she never gave up her lifelong dream of being published. When not writing, C. L. enjoys relaxing with her husband and three children in sunny Florida and daydreaming of a world where people exercise in their sleep and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream is a fat-burning food. Read excerpts of her work at C.L. Wilson’s website.


Lord of the Fading Lands: Entertaining romantic fantasy

Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson

Lord of the Fading Lands has me thinking about genres, and the distinctions between them, and the places where they blur. Specifically, is the Tairen Soul series romance-with-fantasy or fantasy-with-romance? I'm going to have to come down on the side of romance-with-fantasy, though there's a great big fantasy plot in this book alongside the love story.

The central characters are Rain, a shapeshifting Fey king with a thousand years' worth of traumatic past; and Ellysetta, a young woman of humble background who is unappreciated in her home city but who turns out to be exceptionally powerful. Each is able to heal some of the other's psychological wounds. Though the particulars of the plot are very different, I was reminded a little of Anne Bishop's romantic themes; fans of Daemon and Jaenelle may find ano... Read More

Lady of Light and Shadows: Had me misting up

Lady of Light and Shadows by C.L. Wilson

Lady of Light and Shadows is the second volume in C.L. Wilson’s romantic fantasy epic, Tairen Soul. Like the previous novel, Lord of the Fading Lands, Lady of Light and Shadows is a fun guilty pleasure. Ellysetta and Rain may be a little over the top in terms of their powers, treading close to Mary Sue territory, but I’m enjoying the heck out of their story anyway. The Tairen Soul series is a delightfully escapist saga, reminding me a little bit of Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels, but without all the sexual violence. All of the elements that made Read More

King of Sword and Sky: Can’t wait for the sequel!

King of Sword and Sky by C.L. Wilson

King of Sword and Sky is longer than either of the previous two Tairen Soul books, but for me, it breezed by so quickly, I could hardly believe it. King of Sword and Sky continues several plotlines from the earlier books, resolves a really huge one, and ends with a heck of a bang.

We follow Rain and Ellie as they travel to the Fading Lands, where they set out to prepare the Fey for war with the Eld and attempt to save the tairen from the mysterious decline they’ve been suffering. They meet with resistance from many influential Fey. C.L. Wilson does a great job of depicting this opposition without demonizing it. These Fey, after all, don’t know that Ellie and Rain are the protagonists. All they know is that their king has suddenly decided he wants to take a m... Read More

Queen of Song and Souls: A moving set-up novel

Queen of Song and Souls by C.L. Wilson

Queen of Song and Souls, the much-anticipated fourth book in C.L. Wilson’s Tairen Soul series, continues the story of Rain and Ellysetta’s quest to complete their bond and defeat the sinister Mages of Eld. In this volume, they attempt to enlist allies in their war against Eld.

First, this means a return to Celieria City. We learn more about the consequences of the weave Ellie inadvertently spun at the end of Lord of the Fading Lands; something shocking has happened to everyone involved. We get to see King Dorian and Queen Annoura again as the rift in their relationship grows, and as the Mages do their best to take advantage of it. Wilson also further explores the poignant star-crossed love of Talisa and Adrial, a plotline that began in Lady of L... Read More

Crown of Crystal Flame: I enthusiastically recommend Tairen Soul

Crown of Crystal Flame by C.L. Wilson

With Crown of Crystal Flame, C.L. Wilson concludes her epic Tairen Soul quintet. The series has always walked the line between romance and epic fantasy. In the later books, however, with the connection between Rain and Ellysetta mostly established (other than that pesky incomplete soul-bond issue), the balance has shifted more toward fantasy as the war with the Eld Mages moves to the forefront.

In this installment, the Fey and their Elven and Celierian allies make their last stand against the Mages. Meanwhile, the insurrection brewing within Vadim Maur’s stronghold comes to a head as well. The good guys are vastly outnumbered and the Mages have terrible powers at their disposal. Yet Rain, Ellie and friends refuse to give up hope, and help from an unexpected quarter may just be enough t... Read More