Since reading Martin’s previous novels, ‘Nandor’ and ‘Exile’, I became a fan of his world building and characters, and the fact that Martin is a really good guy and also supports many writers in the SFF community, plus his writing and story-telling ability, made it so that I know everything he publishes is quality. Shadows of Faerie is no exception.
In this book, Martin introduces the reader to a kind of mash-up world: shades of police procedural, portal fantasy and urban fantasy combine with interesting magic and world building, and these all connect believably and interestingly with our world.
The main character, Charlie Somes, is struggling with his studies, the trauma of a broken familial relationship, and life in general. Despite the problems he faces, he’s not an unlikable character – far from it. But Charlie also has an interesting gift – one which adds to his problems. His gift ends up linking him, despite his fear and misgivings, to police investigations: the murders of women, and the dealings of gangsters and drug dealers.
Charlie shows different sides throughout the tale and reacts in believable ways. He’s a complicated young man trying to deal with everything already on his plate, and offering up information to the police after coming across a murder victim not only adds to his problems, but also draws him into a relationship he might not be ready for.
When the world and the people more intricately linked to his gift begin to intrude, Martin takes us into the positive and negative consequences these changes bring to Charlie’s life. He needs to learn how to navigate escalating danger, unexpected relationships, and the consequences these have on his studies.
Once the mythical and magical trickle into the tale, Martin manages to keep everything balanced. I mention this because most writers either remain too fixed in the ‘mundane’ or focus too much on the fantastic/strange/different, but Martin retains his focus and control of the various plot threads.
This isn’t a large-scale epic, but it doesn’t need to be. The story is close and personal, and Martin does a great job of setting up the premise, characters and world, before taking the reader on an entertaining ride. I hope to read more about Charlie and his unfolding world, and I’m very glad to be reading Martin’s latest novel, which you will all be reading in due time. 😉
All in all, Shadows of Faerie was an entertaining page-turner, and I highly recommend it. 🙂
Until next time,