THE ANGEL STONE (Fairwick Chronicles #3)
Author: Juliet Dark aka Carol Goodman
Published September 3, 2013 by Ballantine Books
Format: ebook, 320 pages
Genre: fantasy, paranormal, urban fantasy, romance novel, witches, fairies, demons
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
"The strongst protection a witch can give anyone is the mantle of her love."
Blurb - For Callie McFay, a half-witch/half-fey professor of folklore and Gothic literature, the fight to save the enchanted town of Fairwick, New York, is far from over. After a hostile takeover by the Grove—a sinister group of witches and their cohorts—many of the local fey have been banished or killed, including Callie’s one true love. And in place of the spirit of tolerance and harmony, the new administration at Fairwick College has fostered an air of danger and distrust. With her unique magical abilities, Callie is the only one who can rescue her friends from exile and restore order to the school—a task that requires her to find the Angel Stone, a legendary talisman of immense power. Propelled on an extraordinary quest back to seventeenth-century Scotland, Callie risks her life to obtain the stone. Yet when she encounters a sexy incarnation of her lost love, she finds the greater risk is to her heart. As the fate of Fairwick hangs in the balance, Callie must make a wrenching choice: reclaim a chance for eternal passion or save everything she holds dear.
My review - Welcome to Fairwick College, a picturesque academic community located in a secluded area of upstate New York. Populated by a crowd of otherwordly creatures, disguised as humans and perfectly blended in the charming environment of a college town, Fairwick offers the best of Northern European folklore and fae mythology.
In The Angel Stone , cross-genre novel and final installment in The Fairwick Trilogy (penned by literary fiction author Carol Goodman under the pseudonym of Juliet Dark), Gothic and paranormal elements, folk traditions and literary references give shape to a fantasy world richly conceived, vividly portrayed, and laced with an alluring dose of romantic flavor. Fairies and witches, vampires and goblins, demon lovers and nephilims, wizards and other mythical beings trapped in the 'shadow land' between humans and Fairy World, are involved in an epic fight for the control of the passages connecting the two realms. Torn between loyalty to her community and undying love for her own incubus, Callie McFay, a fairy/witch hybrid and only surviving doorkeeper of the Fae World, will need to travel back in time to a 17th century Scotland to recover an amulet (the Angel Stone) that can protect her people from the nephilims' aggression. While rescuing faes and humans from the tiranny of the fallen angels, Callie will find in her ancestral history an even more powerful talisman and a way to reconnect with her true love, once and for all.
I wholeheartedly recommend The Fairwick Chronicles, with a warning: it would be a good idea to approach this highly imaginative trilogy starting with its previous installments. As cosmology, plot threads, and characters' back-stories are inextricably entwined and arc back to the prequel The Demon Lover (read my review here) and to transition episode The Water Witch, The Angel Stone doesn't really work as a stand-alone. Although the author provides her readers with a nutshell summary and sparse references to some pivotal facts concerning world-building and characters' back-story, only an ordered narrative framework can enhance your enjoyment and connection to cast and storyline.
Although the romantic element doesn't unfold with the same intensity and sensual charge of the previous books, the relationship between Callie and the different human incarnations of her demon lover finds its gratifying fulfillment in this ultra-sweet finale. With an abundance of fairy lore, pagan traditions, and references to ancient rituals performed in occasion of the winter solstice, The Angel Stone is a perfect Halloween read.
***ARC Netgalley generously provided by the publisher in exchange of an unbiased and honest opinion