"A neat anthology of loosely connected Faery tales"

This is an older one from 1998, but I just bought it. It's a wonderful anthology with four stories by Jo Beverly, Karen Harbaugh, Mary Jo Putney, and Barbara Samuel.

Each of the stories offers a romance involving mortals and Faeries. "The Lord of Elphindale" by Jo Beverley is about a Faery court that's fading because the mortal Lord of the land has left and ignored his responsibilities to the Faery. They create a half Faery half mortal woman to seduce, marry and bear his children to bring him home. She wants his love, but on her own terms. Thus a battle of wills follows, between a hero intent on marrying another and her determined to marry him herself. I liked this story the least because yeah, they live HEA, but only after the Faery manipulate the heck out of them. I have nothing against it technically. It was well told with decent characters for a short story. I just don't like users coming out happy in the end, even though the H/H did too.

Karen Harbaugh's tale "The Faery Braid" is an adult re-telling of Rapunzel. It was beautifully told, and explained a lot that in the myth doesn't make that much sense. A Faery woman ruins a family so that they must sell their youngest daughter Rachel to her. She plans on turning the girl into a Faery in order to use her as a brood mare (the Faery don't have a lot of children). She isolates her on the fringe of Faery and begins weaving the altering magic into Rachel's hair. Unfortunately for the Faery, a passing magician has taught Rachel songs that will call her own true love, a former rake scarred on the outside and in who craves the healing Rachel offers. This was a good one.

Barbara Samuel's story was also very good. In "The Love Talker" the Queen of Faery has condemned one of her court to a realm where no one can touch or see him, and only a few can hear. She did this because he would ruthlessly seduce mortal maidens then leave them to pine away to death. He's only left his flute, and he's condemned to stay this way until he experiences true love. Unfortunately, his flute playing has the same affect on the maidens that hear it, and Moira's cousin is one of them. She recognizes the signs and seeks him out. She can hear him and they begin meeting and talking, and he slowly becomes visible to her. This is the ultimate reformed rake story. Another reason I liked it was that the heroine wasn't all that beautiful, she just had a kind and generous heart.

Mary Jo Putney's story was "Dangerous Gifts. Leah is a plain girl with a gift for music. The Faery Lord Ranulph hears her and is determined to have her for his own. He offers her beauty and a chance to experience true love in return for something that he'll ask for at a later date. She goes to London and is now the beauty of the season, but finds that it's not exactly what she wanted, until she meets Duncan, a hero just returned from the war. They fall in love and Ranulph shows up to claim his end of the bargain. What will her choices be and what will she choose? This is a story about what beauty really is.

The thing that was really neat about the anthology was that each author used bits of the other's stories in theirs. The Love Talker is the magician in the Faery Braid. The heroine from The Lord of Elphindale shows up at a ball that Leah attends in Dangerous gifts. And they managed to create a Faery that remained constant through the whole anthology. I really liked this book.

Shelly Raines / February, 2000
Copyright 2000

Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted March 24, 2002


Set in glamorous Georgian and Regency England, these four stories are filled with myth and mystery, and illustrate the magical, sensual, and humorous events that can occur when the worlds of mortals and faeries collide.


Faery Magic
by Barbara Samuel, Jo Beverley, Mary Jo Putney, Karen Harbaugh

Kensington Publishing
January 1, 1998
ISBN #0821758179
EAN #9780821758175
352 pages
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Other Books by
Barbara Samuel

Dragon Lovers
Lady Luck's Map of Vegas
The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue
A Piece of Heaven
No Place Like Home
Night of Fire
Irish Magic II
Irish Magic

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