Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bourn's Edge by Barbara Davies

Publisher:                 Bedazzled Ink

Cassie Lewis tried to do the right thing by testifying against her corrupt landlord and now people are trying to kill her.  In a panic, Cassie flees from her home, traveling across the country with no plan in the hope that it will throw off the killers.  That's how she comes to Bourn's Edge, a quaint village on the outskirts of an ancient forest.  Among the unique people she meets there is Tarian Brangwen.  To the people of the town Tarian is an eccentric artist, but she's also a Fae who has been exiled from Faerie by Queen Mab.  Tarian wants to lead a quiet life of isolation, but when she senses that people have come to the town to kill Cassie, she has to respond.  Fae and mortals are not supposed to mix well, but Tarian and Cassie discover that isn't a problem for them, but dealing with people in both of their worlds could get them killed.

Bourn's Edge is presented as three short stories instead of a book length  story.  Part I explains how Cassie and Tarian meet and become partners.  Part II, called "The Doll Hospital," involves them in trying to undo the work of a changeling and freeing the human whose place he took.  This one has permanent consequences for Tarian that require her to make a great sacrifice.  Part III, "The Raggedy Bush," requires Tarian to battle an old enemy to save Cassie and brings the women in contact with magic that is older than even the Faeries possess.   

The book is enjoyable, but breaking up the story means it doesn't have a consistent pace.  The reader is also left with the feeling that there are pieces of information about the characters that are missing.  They hop from adventure to adventure and lose some development in the process.  For example, there is a relationship between Tarian and her two wolf hounds that indicates something more is going on between them than just a relationship between a mistress and her pets, but what the situation is rests just beyond the reader's grasp.  These are the types of stories that could easily lead to a series revealing more about the characters and their world.

Bourn's Edge will appeal to people who like stories about faeries interacting with humans.  The stories are just the length for an hour or so of reading and then the book can be put down.  One note is that the author is British and sets the stories in the area between England and Wales, so she stays true to British spellings and references.  US readers particularly will have to adjust to seeing words like tyre and kerb and references to foods they may not recognize.

No comments:

Post a Comment