The Battle of Evernight
Warner Aspect, April, 2003.
Hardcover, 448 pages.
Cecilia Dart-Thornton brings events of the Bitterbynde trilogy (The Ill-Made Mute, The Lady of the Sorrows) to a satisfying conclusion in this final volume. The heroine Rohain, now known as Tahquil-Ashalind, has been healed of her muteness and her scarred visage, and is an astounding beauty. As a child, she managed to find the doorway to Faerie, but was caught in the doorway of the Gate of the Oblivion's Kiss. When she emerged, a thousand years had passed, and she had lost her memory. After all her adventures in the first two books, she knows only that she and her companions, Caitri and Viviana must find the Gate of Oblivion's Kiss, and set right a terrible wrong which threatens both the mortal and the Faerie worlds. Only Tahquil can open the Gate and allow the two royal Faerie brothers (now caught in the mortal world, eternally battling) to return to Faerie, and spare Erith the bloodshed of immortals locked in an epic and vicious battle.
Australian author Cecilia Dart-Thornton has created a richly layered and imaginative world, based on Celtic folklore and legend. The denizens of Faerie are divided into two categories: the seelie (good) and the unseelie (evil and vindictive). Yet to the Faeran, they are neither good nor evil, and the horrifying unseelie wights are accepted as part of nature. The heroine Tahquil, the girl who walked with immortals and is paying a heavy price for it, is an interesting character, who knows what it's like to be reviled for physical deformity. Thornton addresses issues such as beauty and ugliness, good and evil, and the sacrifices that must be made for friendship and love. With a moving love story at its heart, The Bitterbynde trilogy is a magical fantasy which will appeal to folklore aficionados and high fantasy lovers alike.
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This review was published in the June-July, 2003 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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