NovelBooks, 2001 (2001)
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Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
is set in a Dickensian fantasy world, inhabited by humans, fae, and faelings (of mixed blood). Fae are Seelie (dedicated to light) or Unseelie (oriented to shadows) and faelings share these characteristics in diluted form. The kingdom of Niune appears to be in the early stages of the Industrial Revolution. Indentured workers wear iron collars and slave amongst dangerous machines.
ina is one of them, laboring in a mill, when an accident to a fellow worker awakens her Unseelie heritage and alerts others to her existence. Duncan has been tied to a wheelchair since an early encounter with the Seelie ruler of the city, in which his beloved Aerin died. He helps and teaches Unseelie faelings, with assistance from the younger Bryan (whose own talent allows him to wade through walls). They conquer Mina's distrust and teach her to use her abilities.
owever she exercises a dark controlling magic and both she and Duncan keep secrets from each other, leading to misunderstanding and danger for them and their friends. Despite her brutal existence and his dead love, Mina and Duncan learn to care for each other, at the same time as Seelie / Unseelie violence reaches a climax.
found the storyline interesting, but it was difficult to appreciate the tale's protagonist, despite sympathy for her situation - some of her actions were simply too distasteful.
is for those who like their romantic fantasy on the dark side.
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