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Shadows and Light
Anne Bishop
Roc Books, 432 pages

Duane Myers
Shadows and Light
Anne Bishop
Anne Bishop lives in upstate New York where she enjoys gardening, storytelling, and music. She is the author of the Black Jewels Trilogy (Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, and Queen of the Darkness), The Invisible Ring, The Pillars of the World, and Shadows and Light.

Anne Bishop Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Queen of the Darkness
SF Site Review: Heir to the Shadows
Interview with Anne Bishop

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Cindy Lynn Speer

The witches are dying, and with their deaths, the land they anchored to allow the Fae passage is gone to the hands of another, evilly ambitious man. Aiden, The Bard of the Fae, and his beloved Lyrra, The Muse of the Fae try to convince the Lord of the Sun and Lady of the Moon, the rulers of their people, that the Fae must protect the witches. Unfortunately, the Fae of the East have long fallen into the habit of despising the witches and mortals, denying despite evidence that they are any kin or responsibility of theirs. They are no better than the man who is murdering the witches, for they use humans for their own purposes, without even as much as a thank you for the pain that they ultimately cause. Like parasites, they do not care for their host, figuring there will always be another. Lyrra and Aiden are some of the few who do not share their people's small minded attitude. They decide to go to the west and search for The Hunter, the only Fae to have stood up to the Lord and Lady, and lived to tell about it. The Hunter's bravery and ability to (hopefully) change Fae policy and attitudes is the only thing that will save the human witches, and hopefully, the Fae of the East.

In Shadows and Light, the second book of the Tir Alainn Trilogy, I felt that the Fae society was outstandingly done. I really enjoyed comparing what I, as a lazy student of myth know to be "true" about the Fae, with the aspects that Anne Bishop herself adds. The Fae of the East, with their insular ways are almost drawn to be the Seelie Court, with their Lord of the Sun and traditional Fae-like aspects. When we go to the west, we expect to see that the Fae there are the Unseelie court, for their cousins have long disowned them, considering them a barbaric and unclean race because they live among mankind. Instead, we see in the west a people who understand the symbiotic relationship between human and Fae, who work together to protect and care for each other. This contrast makes the problem at hand more immediate, because we can see what should have been... the witches here thrive, and along with them, the Fae.

Another pleasant aspect of Shadows and Light was the relationship between Lyrra and Aiden. Strong, well-drawn characters in their own right, their natural aspects of bard and muse fit together perfectly, mirroring their love.

This is mostly a travel story. We ride alongside Aiden and Lyrra as they leave the Fae court and cross the land incognito, for anyone bearing the marks of the Fae, such as woodland eyes risk being murdered. They meet many interesting people on the road, people who tell the bard tales, people who are touched by the muse. It is the people who make the journey interesting, equally because we're afraid that they may discover who our characters truly are and harm them, and because they, for the few moments on the page, breathe a little of their own magic into the mix. I often find travel stories hard to read, but by using interesting people as well as the constant worry of discovery, Bishop makes it a pleasure to read.

Copyright © 2002 Cindy Lynn Speer

Cindy Lynn Speer loves books so much that she's designed most of her life around them, both as a librarian and a writer. Her books aren't due out anywhere soon, but she's trying. You can find her site at

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