Beyond the Gate

Terri-Lynne DeFino. Hadley Rille (www.hadleyrillebooks.com), $16 trade paper (354p) ISBN 978-0-98926-310-8
DeFino’s third novel, a romantic fantasy set in the same world as Finder and A Time Never Lived, follows the adventures of “gracious and genial” Princess Linhare, a veritable paragon of ladylike virtues. Returning to the Vale after six years at university, intrigue and treachery soon leave her stranded in the land of fae. The stoically fierce and barnacle-loyal guard Wait, burdened with a dark secret and a cursed past that only Linhare’s forgiveness and love can alleviate, soon rushes after. Along with Linhare’s best friend, Jinna, and Jinna’s lover, Egalfo, they embark on an Odyssey-like quest—with cursed pirate ships, a mad Dread Queen, seductive fairy lords, and treacherous slavers—to return to a kingdom very different from the one they left. Though hampered by slow pacing and repeated substitutions of romantic clichés for character development, the story unfolds into a quietly surprising and unexpectedly satisfying conclusion. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/23/2013
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