Saturday, March 23, 2013

JD's Review of 'The Steward' by Christopher Shields

“The Steward” by Christopher Shields is the first book in the “Weald Fae Journals”, a series aimed at young adults.

Sadly, I find many of today’s fantasy writers sloppy and lazy in constructing their ‘worlds’, but Shields has clearly put a lot of thought and time into his portrayal of the shadow side of our otherwise-familiar planet. His ‘fae’ – ‘fairies’ to the uninitiated – are immortal creatures of pure energy. They can, however, take physical form, and when they do so they become endowed with powers to alter and manipulate matter and elemental forces.

The author carefully interweaves the familiar with the mystical, leading the reader by the hand so that he is by degrees drawn into an universe which would otherwise be incomprehensible.

The story is morally unambiguous (if we put to one side the infatuation of a teenage girl with a 130,000 year-old-being), so we are left in no doubt as to who are the goodies and who are the baddies. The plot-line has been carefully orchestrated and Shields steadily builds tension as the guardian-elect of the fae lands is put through a series of trials and the stakes grow higher.

The “Weald Fae Journals” series has the potential to be huge, and you may want to get on board now while it’s still in its early stages.

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