Blue Review: Dark Fey: The Reviled

Posted on August 3, 2015. Filed under: Blue Review |

Dark Fey: The Reviled
Dark Fey: The Reviled by Cynthia Morgan

Blue Review rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t recall having ever read a Mystical Fantasy story before and, for sure, I’ve never read a Mystical Faerie Fantasy – so I had only a vague idea of what I’d find there and no idea, really, of how I’d react to it.

What I discovered was a tender love story – through and around which raged a fearsome and wholly relentless battle between, literally, Light and Dark.

Ayla, a faerie of the Light, is a gifted empath whose compassion is so deep-seated and enduring that she can’t help but take on others’ pain and angst – especially that of those close to her heart.

Gairynzvl, is a faerie of the Dark; he’s one of The Reviled, The Fallen Fey – and, from the deep shadows, he begins to watch Ayla; he watches and waits – risking his all.

Despite their singularly disparate spheres, however, the two are able to sense one another and when at last they dare to communicate, mind to mind, soul to soul, you realise – you hope – that they are made for each other and, if there is anything at all right with the world, they should end up together…

You’re always only too well aware, however, that it is actual Light and Dark, the indestructible strictures of Good and Evil, that separates them – and, with the night, comes The Fallen, with whom no prayer can be heard, no favour can be granted and absolutely no compromise or understanding can be reached.

Ayla and Gairynzvl’s mystical world and the manifestations of the forces of Darkness and Light are intricately imagined. The world is sumptuous, beautiful – and very very scary. I may never look at a mirror the same ever again, in fact – or at wells or at dying fires: “Mirrors in darkness, unlighted wells, the dying embers of a fire that stood unguarded or the very rare faerie ring that no longer flowered gave The Fallen a place to cross…”

Cynthia Morgan’s writing isn’t so much stylised as… exquisite, I think the word is. It’s patient, somehow. Delicate. Lovely. This mythical universe is so precisely conceptualised and characterised that you might come to believe that the enchanted forest of Jyndari actually does exist.

Another thing that struck me, though, early on – and this sort of added to the precision of the approach – is that there are hardly any (grammatical) contractions in the work; neither in the body of the prose nor in anybody’s speech. It gave the work an air of perfection, sort of – which felt most peculiar at first but then served to reinforce, somehow, the intricacy and the necessarily strict fidelity of the faerie world and the faeries in it.

And I always love a good turn of phrase: “They came in darkness, they brought the darkness with them, and they were the epitome of everything that was not light, bright and beautiful.” Scary stuff. And: “Opening his eyes wearily, he found her amber gaze locked on him and looked upon love for the first time.” So lovely.

Also, there are patterns of style that, though not old-fashioned or old world – and certainly not olde worlde – seem to be, somehow, of the ancient faerie world – maybe: “She needed to rest without the confusion of doubt, despair and helplessness that crested within her presently.”

Other-worldly, indeed.

And it’s a fabulous faerie read. I’m glad I read it – and, without a doubt, I look forward to reading Book Two.

Dark Fey: The Reviled – Blue Review at goodreads

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