Review of “Lady of Light and Shadows” (Tairen Soul #2) by C.L. Wilson

Wilson, C.L. Lady of Light and Shadows. 2007. New York: Avon Books, 2010. ISBN-13: 978-0-06-202301-8. Print List Price: $7.99.

5 stars

When Wilson first submitted the series for publication, this and the first book were one long book, which were split in two, and you can tell, as it the two books obviously take the form of one story, with Rain and Ellie falling in love and Ellie discovering the secrets about her past. But the split is done well, with the first book establishing the world and the romance as well as Rain’s character, and this one providing insight into Ellie’s past, something that was only alluded to a bit in the first book.

Wilson expands on the great cast of characters, showing some development in the returning characters as well as introducing some new ones. My favorite new addition is Gaelen, who was a dahl’reisen (“lost soul” previously banished from the Fading Lands), but was saved by Ellie’s magic. He is incredibly funny, but more importantly, he is proof that while many of the characters, both mortal and Fey, see the world as black and white, good or evil, and a certain type of magic has been deemed as “evil,” that it is about the way you use it that matters.

This book is much darker than the previous one, with the Mages coming to claim Ellie. One of the darkest moments was the “exorcism,” and this was a moment where I really wanted to hate the mother and Selianne, for being so gullible. But the mother’s reaction very much reflects the attitude toward magic toward magic throughout history, and I did feel at the end she did the right thing.