Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember. What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone.
Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.
Allison thought it was crazy enough when she found out her father, Liam, wasn't entirely human. But now she has to join his magical allies to unravel his former mistress's plans. Aoife wants to keep Allison's parents apart forever.
Despite Allison's efforts to keep Ethan, the only guy she's ever cared about, out of this supernatural mess, fate keeps throwing him back into the mix.
Will Allison be able to find the amulet that holds the enchantment Aoife placed on Liam and destroy it?
Are Ethan' s feelings for Allison strong enough to endure the magic of the Tuatha De Danaan?
The time has come. Allison's quest to save her mother from Aoife's wicked enchantment will test everything she believes in.
Who is trustworthy in the land of the Fair Folk, the Tuatha de Danaan?
It's up to Allison, along with her host of allies, to unravel the truth.
Journey along and discover the power of family, love and duty as Allison faces the most difficult trial of her life.
I love reading books about the fey and I'm always curious about each author's spin on the lore. Laura Howard has culled from the Gaelic/Scottish mythology of the Tuatha de Danaan and tir na n'Og to create a captivating story sure to satisfy many fae fans in The Danaan Trilogy, now available as a boxed set. What's wonderful about reading a series in a boxed set is that the books are all together so they can be enjoyed back-to-back. There's no waiting period and no forgetting pieces of what's already been read. The series gets to flow uninterrupted from beginning to end. And what better way to enjoy this engaging fantasy series than as a whole?
The lore created here is reminiscent of other books dealing with Tuatha de Danaan from the names and descriptions of a beautiful fantasy land. These fey are emotionless, cold, and selfishly intent on their own plans and needs. There are two types of magic and there's glamour as well as other skills Allison personally encounters. When she learns there may be a way to cure her mother she steps up, determined to help out no matter what. Allison's point-of-view is unwavering as the story moves from the human world to the magical land of tir na n'Og. There are a lot of fey names to keep track of and the pronunciation guide in the beginning of the book helps. The pacing is steady and the writing flows. Once the story shifts to the fey land, the pacing quickens and I settled back to enjoy the adventures.
I found book two, Stone of Destiny, enchanting and gripping. Author Laura Howard once again submerges her readers into her fantastical fey world rich in details while peppering both the human and fantasy worlds with an assortment of interesting and varied characters. The slower pace at the beginning of the story helped me ease back into Allison's world just in time for the roller coaster ride this novel took me on. Allison continues to impress me with her growth and she really surprised me by standing up to the fey king about Ethan. I loved her independent streak. Simple things like not asking for help to change a tire but doing it on her own (even if she's late for work) says so much about the woman she is becoming. I also liked the addition of Samantha and the stone. The questions I had about various things in this series doubled so I'm so looking forward to seeing how this trilogy ends.
"It was then that I knew. I knew no matter what, I was going to make you mine. And I've never forgotten." When Ethan speaks those words to Allison early on in A Place Beyond, my heartstrings began to hum and I knew. I knew, like Ethan, that witnessing the end of The Danaan Trilogy was going to be an emotional experience.
Saying goodbye to anything beloved is never easy but this third book offers readers a satisfying though quick ending to what our heroine Allison has to do to stop the psycho fae Aoife. Allison has changed so much. She's no longer the quiet, book loving and sharp-tongued college student we first met. She has come into her own and she knows what she wants.
Howard's writing is succinct and her emotional scenes dig in deep (I won't mention a certain heartbreaking scene early on). The fae of the Tuatha de Danaan we've grown accustomed to only strengthen our feelings of likability as well as disdain. Besides Allison, Ethan has also undergone the most changes in this series. This flirt has his moments which only makes me love this couple even more. But the heart of this story is Allison and her grim determination to save her mom and stop Aoife. Remember what happened to Liam at the end of the second book? Other characters step up to surprise us, while others return, and Allison--despite the setbacks--does her best to keep her family safe, no matter the cost to herself. Trust has always been a main issue with these fae and now our heroine finds herself fully thinking through every thing, from every move to regarding everyone with a quizzical eye. The question becomes not who can she trust but should she?
The lovely, occasionally creepy settings of the fae world, its intriguing mythology, and a cast of memorable characters continues to impress me. I've always enjoyed my trips to Tir na n'Og and this final one I believe will resonate with me for some time. I wished the story was longer and some sections did feel rushed but then again, when does real life ever follow a script? Time in Allison's world is always skewered when she travels and the author has us experience exactly that.
Mystery, love, and romance are combined with issues about dedication, family and trust. Add in human characters to admire, supernatural beings to be weary of, along with plenty of surprises and a mystical setting to get lost in are just some of what I've encountered in the world of the Danaan. A Place Beyond takes us there along with a strong heroine and her dedicated boyfriend Ethan. My questions were all answered and I hated having to say goodbye.
Rating for the entire series: 4.5
Cover comment: Loved them all! They captured the feel of each novel.
Book source: I received promotional copies.
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