This review was originally posted over at Realms & Galaxies: Celebrating SFF on the 26th of October, 2009.
Reviewed by David Jooste.
Hey guys and girls.
David here, once again.
With Halloween just around the corner I have a great review for you. Thanks to our friends over at Angry Robot I was Fortunate enough to get my hands on an amazing book. Now by that i mean I had to force myself to put it down every single time.
Today I’m bringing you a review on Mike Shevdon’s amazing urban fantasy Sixty-One Nails. The first in the Courts of the Feyre series.
Images chaotic, a vision of a black cat, a building, a room, an underground chamber, and island of stone, a dark alter and an ominous iron door. These are the images the creature called Kareesh gave Niall. There meaning remains unsure but it is the only way for him to survive in this dark world he suddenly became a part of.
Now with his savior, the mysterious Blackbird, Naill must find his place in the world of the Feyre, forgetting his old life and learn to use his new found gifts, a gift that to the fey means nothing but death.
Will he succeed or will his failure result in the ancient seventh court returning from exile and bringing with them a new age of suffering for all human kind and half breeds.
Well there’s your little teaser, and I hope it will make you as eager to read this book as I was.
Now I have to say in my opinion there is very little wrong with this piece of mastery. the characters are well shaped and developed. The storyline keeps a constant pace, which in turn keeps you locked in, and the research done for the book is superb.
Something that i loved about the book is the amount of detail Mike placed in it. Through your journey you encounter all the myths and superstitions that make tales of the fey so memorable. None of this new age stuff.
It all falls back to things such their weakness to cold iron, the power of a simple horse shoe, even the attitudes and types of behaviours that were originally associated with these beings. Even old lore about the power held within you name is included.
As for other aspects in the book. Mike even includes an explanation of where the Quit Rent ceremony comes from, which in turn forms an integral part of the storyline and is in fact an actual even. I believe it took place in London this week or last week.
The characters in the book are completely lovable. Right from the start you grow close to Naill, aka Rabbit, and Blackbird.
As you venture through the story you go through Rabbits joy and pain, frustration and confusion as he must come to terms with the fact that he is now one of the Fey and must discover and learn to use his new gifts in order to survive. You work with him to find a lost secret that will give him access to the Six Courts of the Feyre, and possible safety not only for himself but for his daughter as well.
Blackbird is also an amazing character, if not the better. Saving Rabbit and then leading him on the path to self discovery. A creature of the Fey herself, fire and air, also known as a fey’ree, she has been around for hundreds of years having both the knowledge on how to survive and the strength of character to do what must be done.
But there is a deeper story to her past as well, the reason why she has been hiding for so long and cannot even remember what she really looks like, shocking but yes. A story that is much closer to Naill then even he could have guessed.
Though i do feel sorry for Naill as she changes her glamour from an old lady to a voluptuous beauty every so often.
Well that’s about that, I will leave the rest for you to discover. This is definitely a must read for me and one of my top books of the year.
The streets of London will never be the same with these two walking them.
Well done Mike, I can’t wait for the next one, Road to Bedlam. Warden Alshirian, that should be interesting.
Now then for our reader the UK launch date for this book is the 29th of October 2009. Over here I’m not sure but it should hit our shelves early next year so keep an eye out for this one.