The Beltane Escape by Ariella Moon
(The Two Realms Trilogy, #1)
Publication date: February 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Lady Fenella, ever surrounded by guards, knows only responsibility and duty. She believes Merlin and the Lady of the Lake are myths, Gran’s warnings about Fairy are superstition, and Fairy was invented to make children behave.But then Gran brands her, Lord Argonshire kidnaps her, and the Lady of the Lake makes her a pawn. The Highland heiress must betray her newly betrothed and fend for herself when she dives into a wormhole to save her cousin. She lands in a part of Fairy even fairies avoid, and joins forces with Talfryn, a half-Viking/half-Fairy.Fenella must use her wits to find her cousin, free the Lady of the Lake, and reach the wormhole in Glastonbury by Beltane
. Nine days to unshackle herself from a sorceress, prevent a war between rival clans, and decide in which realm—and with which lad—she truly belongs. Oh, and The Most Powerful Wizard stands in her way.
This book is one wild adventure after the next. It begins with Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, running from the powerful Merlin in a quest to best him and prove her power. However, with her sight, it is revealed he will imprison her for her recklessness. This begins a chain of events that lead to our heroine Fenella. Fenella lives in the Scottish Highlands in 1505 and heir to the thanedom of two bickering people that were united by her mother and father’s marriage. While young, she carries a lot of responsibility on her shoulders and tries her best to set a good example.
However, Fenella’s life is turned upside down when her land is invaded by the Blackwoods. She is betrayed and hurt by her Gran, kidnapped by the Blackwoods, and arranged to marry the third son. Her only chance to survive the ordeal is if she is not ‘tainted’ by magic. Still, Fenella’s actions are honorable and she truly tries her best to stay noble in her actions. Even to the point of keeping her word and staying in the Blackwoods captivity. It’s only when her hand is forced, that she escapes in pursuit of her cousin Sorley, fearing he is in danger.
Fenella then begins her wild journey through a wormhole where fairies, brownies, and other magical creatures reside. As the Beltane approaches, she desperately searches for her cousin and gains allies along the way. Fenella is likely one of the stronger characters I’ve ever read. Though she fears the strange world she travels in, she continues with a second thought, desperate to save Sorley. She receives the unlikely help of a gatekeeper Dit and meets the mysterious Talfryn, and though she is wary of him, he intrigues her more and more.
It did take some adjusting to the way the time and culture is expressed. Some of the speech and descriptions of the scenes could be a bit confusing at first but after more chapters, it became a lot easier to follow. Even with the slightly challenging terms, Moon has a way of describing each scene and description of surroundings as incredible visuals. There are so many amazing details that easily fit in a scene and really enlighten the story.
I really enjoyed reading about the magical creatures that lived in the Fairy world and the ancient traditions they followed. There was so many amazing descriptions of the Fairy world packed into every scene but still moved the story along quite well. From the summary, it was known that Talfryn was half-Fairy which was eluded but quite interesting to discover as Fenalla travels with him. Not only is he on a quest of his own and still helps Fenella, but he subjected to harshness from others for his lineage.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It has a lot of information about the fair folk, which is slightly daunting but still fascinating. Fenella is a strong and great character to root for and I really enjoyed her development throughout the story. Anyone who enjoys amazing world building will love this story. I was really taken by the beautiful descriptions and suspenseful scenes. Moon really takes fantasy stories to the next level and I’d recommend this to anyone that enjoys them.
About the Author
Ariella Moon draws upon her experiences as a shaman to create magical Young Adult fiction. Her Two Realms Trilogy is a medieval fantasy adventure series with romantic elements. The Teen Wytche Saga is a series of sweet contemporary paranormal romances.Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. Ariella lives a nearly normal life doting on her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and an enormous dragon.Ariella loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at http://www.AriellaMoon.com
or visit her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ariellamoon.author
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