Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Strangeness and Charm by Mike Shevdon

The latest Mike Shevdon book hits shelves today and you must go out and procure a copy! I mean it. Now! And if you haven't read the first two books in the series, then you probably don't want to read any further here today. 

This third in the Courts of the Feyre series finds Niall Petersen picking up the pieces after the events of The Road to Bedlam. Thanks to him, a whole slew of half feys are on the loose and many of them have little to no control over their powers. What's more, their imprisonment has left them with some serious issues. In an attempt to maintain their agreement with the human world, Niall will have to round up the rogue feys and bring them back to the Courts. But not all of them are ready or willing to go along with Niall or the Courts wishes.

There are many things that make this series a true standout. Shevdon's worldbuilding is the key, though. I strongly believe that as much as I love Niall and Blackbird and as fabulous as the plot twists are, that neither element would completely work without the world Shevdon has put together for his series.

Worldbuilding! Oh, my! You see this word pop up a lot in my reviews because it's an element that I find very important in a lot of the genres I read. The creation of a world that is believable enough to immerse yourself in the story is key in paranormals, urban fantasies, fantasy, sci-fi. Anything that's set in a world different from ours.

Shevdon is a master at this. His Courts of the Feyre series is set in the UK but he twists the existing framework of the real world adding in Fey elements. One of my favorite things is his manipulation of actual history. Ben Aaronovitch also does this very well (in the UK setting also) as does Christopher Farnsworth (to an extent -- he also brings in elements from other fiction).

I also love the incorporation of superstitions, symbolism, and ceremonies. I honestly don't know what comes first, if the story is inspired by these random tidbits of strange history or if Shevdon has a cache of these stocked away for use in the books. Maybe a little of both. Either way, it works. Here's to Shevdon for another fabulous installment and I can't wait til next year for book four!

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