Blood and Iron

Elizabeth Bear, Author . Roc $14 (432p) ISBN 978-0-451-46092-9

Ancient grudges and ruthless schemes are simply business as usual to the Faerie court in Bear's complex and involving contemporary fantasy. Seeker, formerly Elaine Andraste, is a changeling bound to the Mebd, the queen of the Daoine Sidhe, to find other changelings and bring them to the Faerie court. There, like legendary Tam Lin, and Seeker's own son, Ian, they entertain the queen until she tires of them. Now the queen needs Seeker to find—and win the heart of—the new Merlin, latest incarnation of a being who, in the hands of the Prometheans, could be used to destroy the Fae. Pragmatic college professor Carel Bierce, the first female Merlin, is not easily swayed by Fae—or Promethean—advances. Long-forgotten rivalries and unsuspected blood ties arise to tug at Seeker's loyalties, even as the queen promises to free Ian when she succeeds. Campbell-winner Bear (Worldwired ) overturns the usual vision of Faerie, revealing the compelling beauty and darkness only glimpsed in old ballads and stories like "Tam Lin." (July)

Reviewed on: 05/15/2006
Release date: 07/01/2006
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