Friday, July 24, 2015

Review: Lady of the Veils by M. L. John




Lady of the Veils 
3 stars
(4 for Amazon)

This is a good, solid entry into a crowded urban fantasy field. The shelves are packed with takes about integrating magic and supernatural races into the real world, and seen-it-before derivatives predominate. (Pretty elves. Inter-dimensional travel. Touched-by-magic. Special sauce. Again. Meh.)

Nothing about Lady of the Veils is derivative. It goes right to the source-- folklore of the British Isles mostly--pulls what it wants, adds in a big helping of pop culture, ties it all up with complicated relationships and political struggles. None of the world-building gets in your face, but it's there and it's shiny. 

M. L. John's characters all have three-dimensional heft, the world they inhabit is complex and built well enough that the seams don't show, and actions sometimes have unintended consequences that make the plot twist in realistic rather than predictable ways The protagonists in Lady of the Veils face serious dilemmas, they have conflicted feelings, and they behave like people, not characters. They have pasts, personalities, families, and obligations. 

They're good people in hard situations. It's easy to care about them.

Have I mentioned how much I like a good portal fantasy? I  I have loved them ever since I cracked open my first Narnia book. I also love tales of the Fae and all the folktale denizens of the British Isles, because I'm the good eldest daughter of an Orangeman who would've been saddled with the moniker Ciaran if Irish baby name references had been more thick upon the ground back in those ancient of days. 

But I digress, as I often do. This is good stuff. The follow-up, Storm Prince is even better, and I would recommend getting both at once, because once Karen and Beriani capture your heart, you'll want to stick with them to see what happens next.

Click link to purchase: Lady of the Veils
Or see all of M.L. John's works: Amazon Author Page

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