A Fantasy Series Review
One thousand years ago, thirteen witches flee persecution and death by escaping to a new planet in search of a world where they can practice witchcraft in peace and harmony. Those who survive the crossing form the eleven great clans of Eileanan. However, their new world is not exactly the safe haven they had hoped. While the native dragons remain aloof, the sea-dwelling Fairgean resent the invasion of their homeland. For years, battles against the Fairgean have held the sea-dwellers back but now the Fairgean have developed a new strategy, one that will destroy the witches from within. Maya the Unknown, part human, part Fairgean, seduces, marries and controls the Righ and turns him against the witches and fae who loyally serve him. In the aftermath of the almost total destruction of the covens, Isabeau and Iseult, twins separated at birth, are born. Each must follow separate paths of destiny and if they survive, they will end the Fairgean threat and create the world of tolerance and peace that their ancestors had sought so many years ago.
This series has tons of my favorite fantasy elements. It is set in a secondary world, it has dragons, fae of all types, some unique, many types of magic, politics, and just the right amount of romance. Instead of the tired medieval type setting with knights and helpless fair maidens, we get to enjoy a richly crafted Celtic type world with strong female characters and villains who actually have understandable motives. My only major complaint about this series is that Kate Forsyth writes dialog using the native dialect, which is annoying until you get used to it. Still, considering how well researched this series is, I understand why she wrote it the way she did.
The world building is incredible. The portrayal of the ancient practice of Wiccan type witchcraft is accurate and beautifully done. The pace throughout is consistent and the characters, oh my I just cannot say enough good things about the characters. As I already pointed out, even the villains are so well done that you understand why they do the things that they do. In some cases, you will even find yourself sympathizing with them! Now that is good writing.
It is hard to do a six-book series full justice with just a summary. There are many things that take place and many characters to meet and fall in love with. There are hair-raising adventures, terrible trials, coming of age stories, tragic wars, personal triumphs, and heartwarming romances. This series will suck you in and make you live the story and when you finish the last book, you will be sad to see the last of your new friends.
This series is appropriate for both adults and young adults, the content for the most part is mild with the exception of the torture of Isabeau, and though that is a bit shocking, you are talking about two scenes in six books. Not exactly what I would call overkill. If you want a better picture of what this series is about I suggest checking out the individual book reviews. This is one of my favorite series and I highly recommend it for lovers of traditional fantasy in atypical settings.
|Author: Kate Forsyth|
Genre: Epic Fantasy Series
Content: Witches, Dragons, 13+
Publisher: Penguin.com (USA)
Source: Personal copies
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A Fantasy Series Review of The Witches of Eileanan by Kate Forsyth - Reviewed by Mulluane - on October 21, 2008 - Rating: of 5 Stars