Magick by Moonrise
What do you get when you mix the magic and mystery of the Fey version of Camelot with Queen Mary of England and the Spanish Inquisition? Well, I had hoped a great story, but I felt that the contradictions of the enchantment of Camelot and the word at the cusp of Enlightenment became just too deep a ravine to cross.
Rhiannon is a princess of the Faerie Folk. She is the daughter of the Queene and King Arthur, and her sister is the nasty Morrigan. When the world is at the verge of the Convocation, an event that occurs every one thousand years and that threatens both humans and the Faeries, Rhiannon is sent on a diplomatic mission to England to create an eternal and magically binding, pact with the queen. But the mortal world is in such religious turmoil with the fighting between the Protestants and the Catholics that this trip is very dangerous for the young princess. At every turn, her very life is in danger.
When Beltran Nemesto arrived in England from Spain, his mission is the same as it has always been. To wipe out any threat to the Church and the Pope. With Prince Philip at the throne in England, he assumes that he will have smooth sailing in completing his tasks and returning to his monastic order. But along the way, he meets and saves a real live Faerie – the very being he is charged with destroying. When the beautiful Rhiannon starts to change the core of Beltran’s very being, his own true nature comes out. His belief that he is God’s Vengeance is put to the test and the two must work through the political and religious traps for the Faerie Folk in Tudor England.
Overall, yes, I liked the story of Beltran and Rhiannon. Two more opposite sides of the spectrum are hard to imagine and what it takes for them to overcome their ideas and find love is enjoyable to read. However, neither character was particularly memorable. Likeable, yes. Captivating…not so much. I know that even now I struggle to remember the details of their story because while I enjoyed it, it didn’t stick with me all that much. For a story to be truly good, it should stick with you at least longer than a day or two. The fact that this one doesn’t says a lot to me.
When I try to think about why, the bottom line is that Tudor England isn’t often “paired up” in any way with Camelot. And this story shows why. The more realistically the time period was portrayed – and I must say I had no criticism about that – the more obvious it became that these were two worlds that had little parallel to them. Tudor England is on the verge of Enlightenment. While Queen Elizabeth’s court may have had plays portraying fairies and their life and world (I am thinking of Shakespeare and Marlowe here), the people knew this to be fantasy, not reality. And while this takes place a few decades earlier, the Spanish Inquisition was all about heretics – not the Faerie realm. Why? Because few would have taken it seriously. The more realistic this story was, the more these realities reminded me of others and it took me out of the story a great deal.
While I enjoyed this story, and I am glad that I read it, I don’t know that I will be panting for the next book in the trilogy. I recommend it for a light, enjoyable fantasy romance with a twist in the theme. That is how I look at it and it works for me.