Frewin Jones,
The Faerie Path #3: The Sorcerer King
(Eos, 2008)

After a boating accident on the day before her 16th birthday, Anita Palmer learned that though she had been born in the Mortal World, she was, in fact, Tania, the seventh daughter of King Oberon and Queen Titania of Faerie. Experimenting with her ability to step between worlds, she had disappeared from Faerie on the eve of her wedding five centuries before, spending the intervening years being born over and over in the Mortal World.

Shortly after Tania's disappearance, Queen Titania had also vanished. Tania eventually made a pledge to Oberon that she would find the queen and return her to Faerie.

At the end of The Lost Queen, Tania and her beloved Edric have found Titania and returned to Faerie to find the realm at war. The Sorcerer King of Lyonesse has broken free of his imprisonment beneath the royal palace with the help of Tania's treacherous sister Rathina. He has imprisoned Oberon in a ball of amber bound about with metal strips. Only black amber combined with metal from the Mortal World -- poisonous Isenmort -- can break the prison, and then only if the king can be found. Titania alone cannot defeat the Sorcerer King and his minions; it took the combined might of the King and Queen of Faerie before to defeat him. Oberon's prison must be found.

Tania sets out for the Isle of Ynys Maw where Faerie prisoners have been exiled for centuries. With her goes Edric and her sisters Cordelia and Zara. They carry with them a small store of black amber and Isenmort to break the king's bonds.

But from the beginning of their quest things go wrong. They lose the black amber and Isenmort and are driven from their planned route by the Sorcerer King's minions. With time growing short before the Sorcerer King's queen arrives with reinforcements from Lyonesse, will Tania be able to find Oberon and break his enchantment?

Tania is a strong, determined heroine, yet still a little confused about her two identities: Mortal teenager and Faerie princess. Her feelings are conveyed well and make her a likable character, as does her agonizing over the dilemma presented by two sets of loved parents. Her Faerie family, especially her sisters, seems to expect she will simply abandon her mortal parents, even though she loves them. How she manages to reconcile the two halves of her identity is nearly as important as finding Oberon and ending the war.

The Sorcerer King is a quickly paced young-adult novel. But, as it is the third in the series and very dependent on the preceding books (The Faerie Path and The Lost Queen), I do not recommend beginning with it.

This is an enjoyable book and one that I suspect readers will return to again and again.

review by
Laurie Thayer

2 August 2008

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