"Love and War in the Fairy Realm"
MAGIC BY DAYLIGHT is book three of the "Living
Lands" series by Ms. Bailey. FLOWERS BY MOONLIGHT and
KISSED BY STARLIGHT are the titles of books one and two.
The fairy kingdom of Mag Mell is gearing up for war. When
King Boadach's daughter Sira had defied him and married a
mortal, the king had been so grieved that he had committed
himself to everlasting sleep. In the five hundred years
hence the new king Forgall had amassed a significant army
of werreour, humans with no families who had been trained
to fight for the fairies in the event of a battle.
Fairies are unable to bear the touch of metals, particular
iron, leaving them unable to defend themselves. Of course
that hadn't been a problem until recently.
In book two, Blaic, a fairy who had been turned to stone
for aiding the king's daughter in her illicit romance, had
been awakened by his true love's tears. The mortal woman
Felicia whom he had taken to wife had had a unkind and
greedy stepmother by the name of Matilda and a loving
Blaic had removed a fairy enchantment on Clarice at the
request of his beloved. The enchantment had kept the girls
mind at the age of seven though she was more than twice
that. The circumstance had only pleased Matilda, Lady
Stavely, for she had but one wish, to keep her beloved
daughter at her side forever.
She had mysteriously disappeared at the time of Felicia and
Blaic's wedding on the treacherous moors surrounding the
estate. Though they knew better Clarice, Felicia, and Blaic
had allowed everyone to assume that she had died.
This story takes place ten years later. Clarice is now
twenty six, a confirmed spinster. She had decided long ago
that her heart belonged to Hamdry. Though she had hoped to
find someone to love, she was not willing to marry one who
only adored her for her beauty or her money. She had not
been unhappy, nor lonely until her dearest friend and
companion since Felicia had gone to make a family of her
own, had found wedded bliss as well.
Felicia and Blaic had kindly lent their son, nine-year-old
Morgain, who is half fay, to her for company. Clarice puts
on a brave face, however she is filled with sadness and
perhaps for the first time has given thought to what the
rest of her life might be like. She flees to the moors, the
place where she'd gone for pleasure during her enchantment.
There she meets an entity which frightens her terribly. A
rider on horseback, cloaked so as not to be recognized. A
rider who's approach steals her breath.
Fleeing back to the safety of the manor, Clarice finds that
she has a visitor. The man is Dominic Knight, who claims to
be a writer, and a contemporary of Blaic's. Morgain
convinces Clarice to allow him to stay with them though she
had doubts about the affect on her reputation. Before long
Dominic has insinuated himself as the new gardener, and has
stolen Clarice's heart as well.
Naturally Dom is not what he appears. He is a werreour,
absconded with at the age of six in the aftermath of the
black plague some four hundred years prior. He'd been left
without family or friends and had loyally trained to defend
the fairy in exchanged for an increased life-span.
For the first time since the beginning of time Mag Mell is
on the brink of war. On the day of her disappearance
Matilda, like her daughter had stumbled on the fairy
revels. She had captured the eye of the new fairy king and
he had granted her a boon of immortality. Never content,
the greedy Matilda had become enraged when the king had
refused to grant her a second boon. She had wanted her only
child to join her whether it be her will or no.
Not one to take no for an answer, Matilda had amassed an
army of her own. Clarice had become a pawn in the struggle,
for the king had sent his top werrouer, Dominic to protect
Clarice through Morgain makes her way to Mag Mell only to
find out that her "protector" had really been holding her
hostage in hopes of forcing Matilda to sue for peace.
However Matilda is far too greedy for that.
Clarice is not unused to imperfection in those she loves
and she loves both Dominic and her mother, but which side
will she choose?
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted January 3, 2002