by Anthea Sharp
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
WHEN A GAME... Feyland is the most immersive computer game ever designed, and Jennet Carter is the first to play the prototype. But she doesn't suspect the virtual world is close enough to touch -- or that she'll be battling for her life against the Dark Queen of the faeries. TURNS REAL...Tam Linn is the perfect hero -- in-game. Too bad the rest of his life is seriously flawed. The last thing he needs is rich-girl Jennet prying into his secrets, insisting he's the only one who can help her. WINNING IS EVERYTHING...Together, Jennet and Tam enter the Dark Realm of Feyland, only to discover that the entire human world is in danger. Pushed to the limit of their abilities, they must defeat the Dark Queen... before it's too late.
Feyland: The Dark Realm is pure, delightful fantasy. I thoroughly enjoyed this engaging quest and romance. It blurred the lines between reality and gaming. While I have absolutely no experience playing this type of video game; I have watched enough of my son playing quest games to appreciate the plot and understand the world of Feyland. I love the way in which Sharp weaves fairy folklore and Scottish ballads into this tale.
The protagonist is Jennet Carter and her father’s employer, VirtuMax, designs gaming systems that enable the player to experience first person playing through his or her avatar. Jennet’s Dad brings home two systems that they play together. When the creator of the software program dies while playing the game; Jennet’s Dad forbids her to play. Jennet a typical teenager begins playing secretly. She moves through Feyland completing quests and fighting bosses. She reaches the final level and does battle with the Queen. Something goes terribly wrong and the Queen steals Jennet’s essence. She becomes ill in real life and must find a knight to win back what she has lost. Tam Linn is a guy with problems. He lives in the slums, has a mother who is mentally ill and a brother that will make anyone crazy. He has built his own gaming system and works for spare parts and free games. In the game world he is confident and brave. In the real world, he has few friends and heavy burdens. He may be the only one who can save Jennet.
The tale that unfolds is beautifully written and moves at a steady pace. The romance between Jennet and Tam is sweet. I loved the characters in Feyland and the world-building there. The way in which Sharp blurs the lines between this world and Feyland was cool. When I close my eyes I can almost see the characters and creatures that dwell there.
I highly recommend Feyland to fans of fantasy, video games, quests and romances. This is the first in a series or trilogy. The next book entitled Feyland: The Bright Court will be published in the spring of 2012. This novel is currently available in digital and paper formats. I will be watching for more from this author.
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