Winner of the 2009 Romantic Times Award for BEST FANTASY NOVEL
“Even the most jaded fantasy reader will quickly fall under the spell of her characters and the warm, intimate voice Warrington uses to tell their stories. Highly recommended.” —Charles de Lint, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
Rosie Fox is a daughter of Aetherials, an ancient race from the Spiral—the innermost realm of the Otherworld—who live secretly among us. Yet she and her kind are bereft of their origins, because on Earth, in a beautiful village named Cloudcroft, the Great Gates between worlds stand sealed.
Her parents, Auberon and Jessica, are the warm heart of her loving family. But on the hill lives the mysterious, aloof Lawrence Wilder, Gatekeeper to the inner realms. Tortured by private demons, he is beset by trouble on all sides; his wife has vanished and his sons Jon and Sam are bitter and damaged. Lawrence is duty-bound to throw open the Gates for the Night of the Summer Stars, a ritual granting Aetherials connection to their mystical heritage. But when he bars the Gates—haunted by fears of a deadly menace within the Spiral—he defies tradition and enrages the Aetherial community. What will become of them, starved of their essential life force? Is Lawrence betraying them—or protecting them?
Growing up amid this turmoil, Rosie and her brothers, along with Sam and Jon Wilder, resign themselves to living as humans. Yet they know their elders have denied them their birth right, harbouring dark secrets in a conspiracy of silence.
When Sam is imprisoned for an all-too-human crime, age-old wounds sunder the two families… yet Rosie is drawn into his web, even as she fears the passions awoken in her by the dangerous Wilder clan. Torn between duty and desire, between worlds, Rosie unwittingly precipitates a tragedy that compels her to journey into the Otherworld, where unknown terrors await. Accompanied by the one man most perilous to her, she must learn hard lessons about life and love in order to understand her Aetherial nature… and her role in the terrifying conflict to come.
Praise for Elfland
“A glittering treasure trove and a stunning read for Warrington’s multitude of fans.” —Tanith Lee, author of The Silver Metal Lover
“A literally enchanted story of magic, love, loyalty and hope.” —Liz Williams, author of The Ghost Sister
“Sensuous and intense – buy it, read it, love it.” —Melanie Rawn, author of Fire Raiser
“Elfland is an absorbing and gripping journey into a world where the otherworldly shivers alongside us, unseen… Sensitive characterisation and evocative scene-setting draw you into the tale; you won’t want to leave it.” —Storm Constantine, author of the Wraeththu Chronicles
“A heady cocktail of urban fantasy and wild romance, invigorating and intoxicating. Warrington’s writing has lyrical beauty, and her characters are a delight to discover.” —Justina Robson, author of Glorious Angels
“Romantic in every sense, richly imagined and richly told, Elfland is a complex fantasy of the heart, the faerie heart; and it’s a delight. Immediately engaging and intensely satisfying, this is a class act from a fine writer.” —Chaz Brenchley, author of The Books of Outremer
Prolific British author Warrington (the Jewelfire Trilogy), mostly unknown in the U.S., puts a distinctive spin on human/nonhuman relations in this sensuous, relationship-driven story, the first of the Books of the Silver Wheel. The feylike Vaethyr regularly travel between the Spiral and our world until the gates are summarily and permanently closed by Lawrence Wilder, the Gatekeeper. He warns of danger, but the Vaethyr on Earth need to return to the Spiral to survive. Much of the book is devoted to describing the turbulent life of Rosie, daughter of Vaethyr king Auberon, and her love triangle with Sam and Jon, Wilder's troubled sons, as long years without reconnecting to their aetherial selves slowly drive the Vaethyr mad. Solid wordplay, great pacing and a thrilling conclusion will definitely earn Warrington some new American fans.