Wilson, C.L. King of Sword and Sky. 2008. New York: Avon Books, 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0-06-202300-1. Print List Price: $7.99.
When I initially picked up the series from the library, I was perplexed to see they classified the series as fantasy, complete with the Fantasy genre tag, when the books are not only distributed by a romance publisher, they clearly note that they are paranormal romance. But while the romance was definitely a huge part of the first two books, and remains a strong component, the epic scale of both this book and the series overall had me questioning the author’s choices when selecting her publishers, especially with genre classification used as a form of marketing, and her books are cross-genre works which don’t entirely fit as one or the other. But I will save a further discussion into genre and marketing for another day, as we need to talk about this book.
Because this is yet another amazing installment in the series. Despite the shift in setting, with Ellysetta, Rain, and their party returning to the Fading Lands, there is just as much to keep them occupied and test them. I admired Ellie’s character development, particularly when she goes against the Fey law against weaving Azrahn to save the tairen kitlings, leaving her vulnerable to further exposure to the High Mage. And it was sweet that Rain joined her as well, and that we see how her birth parents were still connected with her and able to aid her, despite the long separation and their being in captivity under the High Mage.
Something else I thought was really cool was the inclusion of readers’ poetry at the beginning of some of the chapters. Short poems have been a staple of the series since the beginning, providing a greater sense of the mythos of this world, but it is wonderful to see that Wilson opened up her world to reader contributions, and allowed them to fulfill the dream of many to see their work in a published book.