Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Blood and Iron - Elizabeth Bear

Blood and Iron
A Novel of the Promethean Age
Elizabeth Bear

Fantasy - Urban/Faerie

Twenty-five years ago, Elaine Andraste became Seeker for the Mebd, the Queen of the Daoin Sidhe. She is of the Fae now, and her job is to locate changelings in the human world and bring them to the Western Isles. Now, the Mebd has a new job for her. A new Merlin has come to maturity. A Merlin is not just a magician, but also the personification of magic. Whoever controls the Merlin, and by extension, the Merlin’s Dragon, would control incredible power over both worlds. Seeker’s task is to find the Merlin, and convince the Merlin to accompany her to the court of the Mebd.

But there are other forces at work in the world. The Queen of the Unseelie Court also wants to control the Merlin and the Dragon. There are mages, humans who can work magic, who don’t want to see the Merlin fall into Faerie hands. One such archmage is Jane Andraste, mother of Elaine. She’d also like her daughter back in the human world. And there’s Keith MacNeill, a werewolf who fell in love with Seeker when she was human, and loves her still. His father is dying; he is next in line to lead; and he desperately wants to find his son. All of them agree on one thing: no matter what you want, there’s always a price to pay.

The above is merely a bare-bones outline of the events that take place in this magical novel. The reader is immediately dropped into a complex and dynamic world. Worlds, really, since there’s the human/Promethean world and the Faerie world. It’s both familiar and strange, commonplace and alien. The author takes various legends and tales and melds them into a unique new story. Make sure you have some time when you sit down with this one, because once you’re pulled in, you won’t want to stop reading. This is a superlative urban fantasy, not to be missed. I’ll be eagerly anticipating more from this very talented author.

Rating: 9 ½
July 2006
ISBN# 0-451-46092-8 (trade paperback)


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