25 October 2010

ARC Review: C.L. Wilson - Crown Of Crystal Flame

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Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Avon; Original edition (October 26, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062018965
ISBN-13: 978-0062018960
Book #5 in the Tairen Soul series
Book Origin: eARC received through NetGalley from publisher

Cover Summary;
A Song of Love won her heart.
A Song of Darkness haunted her soul.
A Song in the Dance would seal her fate. 

Seers had long foreseen an extraordinary destiny for Ellysetta Baristani. Already she had won the heart of the Fey King—the magnificent Rain, ever her ally, eternally her love. She had saved the offspring of the magical tairen and fought beside her legendary mate against the armies of Eld. But the most powerful—and dangerous—Verse of her Song had yet to be sung. As the final battle draws nigh and evil tightens its grip upon her soul—will Ellysetta secure the world for Light or plunge it into Darkness for all eternity? As she and Rain fight for each other, side by side, will they find a way to complete their truemate bond and defeat the evil High Mage of Eld before it's too late, or must they make the ultimate sacrifice to save their world?

My Review: Some books just rob me of words to adequately describe what it did with me, CROWN OF CRYSTAL FLAME is such a book. C.L. Wilson gave me a conclusion where joy and sadness, love and hate, courage and angst, laughter and tears fuse in to an action filled story that gave me an unparalleled reading experience within the romance fantasy genre. CROWN OF CRYSTAL FLAME is by no means a novel you can read as a stand-alone since it is an end game story where the truemate bond between Elly and Rain needs to find completion or else…, and the battle against High Mage Vadim Maur enters the last stage to claim the final victor.

From the first word C.L. Wilson plunged me in to high risk chases and tension filled battles where fey powers and Celierian tenacity clashed with the dark strength of the mages. There is a very fine line between death and survival, defeat and victory, and I can guarantee you there will be moments of angst, tearful goodbye’s and moments filled with utter relief as various characters make it through one ordeal or another. C.L. Wilson holds nothing back, the plot thickens to almost insurmountable heights with a rapid succession of unfolding events. It nailed me to the couch, every major and secondary story thread blended seamlessly together. I was completely absorbed in the story being told as to whether or not my most beloved characters would find peace, joy and love again.

The plotlines that were set-up in the former four books of this series and hadn’t found a conclusion do so in CROWN OF CRYSTAL FLAME. The signature beautiful and lyrical writing style of C.L. Wilson encompassed me; it set me on the grim battlefields, it made me soar like a Tairen, weave magic along the fey warriors and allowed me to feel the range of emotions coursing through the characters. This author knows how to bare the souls of the characters, let me witness all the good, the bad and everything in between that they have to give. Each character; Rain, Elly, Belliard, Gaelen, Shan, Elfeya, Vadim Maur, Melliandra, Lillis, Lorelle, the Dahl’reisen and the Tairen, to those new to the series they are just names. Nevertheless, to those familiar with the series know that each brims with a distinctive voice that allows them to come to life via the pages and in the mind’s eye. I loved them all; each of them gave the love, the friendship, the battles and even the darkness of hate or evil meaning and purpose. While the story, as each of the four preceding books, revolves around the completion of the truemate bond between Rain and Elly, it is each supportive character, each secondary storyline, that deepens this series to a rich and multi-layered reading adventure.

I cannot tell you much about the story plot itself since each reader who has longed for CROWN OF CRYSTAL FLAME should go in to it unspoiled and experience it all firsthand themselves. The tender courtship romance between Elly and Rain I got to read about in Lord Of the Fading Lands is no longer. Now it is a love, running so deep in the soul of the couple it demands the full and complete truemate bond. There are risks to be taken, the love needs to be expressed, the fear felt and the dangers are everywhere, Rain and Elly’s go rock bottom to aim for the completion of their bond and they took me along with it for every moment! Their romance is truly one of epic proportions that touched my heart to the very core but my heart also plummeted in fear for them and cried for them. This story is the culmination of everything that came to pass and it delivered a breathtaking read from an author who can wholly claim a reader with her characters, imagination, storytelling and high-risk plotting.

From the moment I read Lord Of The Fading Lands I knew C.L. Wilson was an author with a fantastic gift for writing. With CROWN OF CRYSTAL FLAME C.L. Wilson has cemented herself among the greatest authors on my shelves with exquisite storytelling, fantastic world building, heart-in-throat tension, larger-than-life characters and a romance that will keep you on edge till the very last chapters. I will love reading this series for the rest of my life!

5 stars

The Fey did nothing in half measures. That intensity of emotion was part of their appeal. It made them the fiercest warriors, the staunchest allies, the most passionate lovers. The most devoted mates.

Quote Elysetta:
From the moment she had called him from the sky, he had taken care of her, looked after her, put her safety before his own. Now it was her turn to give back a fraction of that devotion. She loved him so. No longer because he was the hero of her dreams but because he was the man, flawed and yet so fine, who had won her heart. He was king, a great and noble leader of the immortal Fey, but he was also just Rain, her beloved, hers to protect. And she would protect him…just as fiercely as the tairen defended the pride.

You can still take your chances in the Tairen Soul series giveaway + goodies and a copy of Crown Of Crystal Flame + goodies giveaway!
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  1. *nods*

    Yes, yes and yes. Wonderful ending to one of my favorite series!!

  2. *hiding again*

    Ok another 5 *eyes The Lord on the corner* I hear him calling

  3. Yay! You have finished the series. So good to read that it was a worthy final installment for you.

    And good to hear the NG "problem" was solved and you got the book.

    I am almost afraid to say it but after reading Lord of the Fading Lands, with which I really struggled, I am so hesitant to continue this series. Me and fantasy just have that love/hate thing going and I don't think it will ever change. Yet reading your review you have the uncanny talent to draw me in and make me want to read this series anyway. However, when? That's still a big big question mark as there are too many other books that call for my attention harder.

  4. OH my Metonia here, I miss you all but WOW Leontine this is great, I am posting a link to this on the facebook fan club page of C.L.Wilson.... just WOW

  5. @Mandi - I got my print copy today and got goosebumps again reading the final sentences again ;) Now I need some time because I love to read the whole series in one time...

    @Blodeuedd - If you don't win the books tomorrow from the Tairen party I could send you old, well read ARC copies of the first two books if you want? That way you can find out if this series is something for you ;)

    @Pearl - Of course I'm pining for some kind of spin-off novels/trilogy/series that will focuss on other characters set in this world! I hope someday you do finish this series but I know your love/hate affair with fantasy romance ;) And Cheryl fixed the problem with NG YAY She's the best!

    @Metonia - Thanks so much!!! I hope you're getting your copy ASAP and can talk about all that transpires in COCF!!

  6. Wow - with such a glowing review (and Mandi's agreement), I really need to pick up this series. I'll have to look up the first 4 books and add to my wish list. Thanks for the review.

  7. It was amazing how much was packed in this book! I hope she eventually has a book for Keiran.

  8. Great! No need to enter me in the contest. Just wanted to share how much I love Leontine's site. I've added to my list of books from reading her posts.

  9. @Twimom227 - This is such an outstanding series Jen! *sigh* The characters become so near and drea to your heart!

    @Eva - Oh, I've got a secondary character wishlist too *grin*

    @Kris_Cook - I'm so glad you enjoy stopping by my place!!

  10. I just finished this book Leontine, and am still on a readers high. I just hope it is not really the end of the series as the cover says.
    C.L. Wilson has left a loose thread that may very well become a new book. I really want to know what happens to Mellisande.


I love to hear all your voices and opinions so thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.