I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review
Morgan’s The Reviled, first in the Dark Fey series, tells the story of Ayla, a Fey of the Light, and Gairynzvl, a Dark Fey. Ayla is not just any fey, either. She has unique gifts and is trained to be a Guardian. She can read the truth in people, and tell if a person is lying. She can also share energy with others in unique ways.
Ayla has a stalker, a person who watches her from the shadows, but never offers any harm to her. This continues for many months, off and on, before Ayla discovers she can communicate with this mysterious being through telepathic communication. Once she does, things move fast. We learn his name is Gairynzvl, one of the Dark Fey. That wasn’t always the case though. New Dark Fey are created from kidnapped criblings and children. Gairynzvl was taken much older than most children, and he remembers being of the Light. He thinks Ayla can help him return to his proper home. There are battles both inner and outer to be fought before his deepest desire can bear fruit.
This story took me a bit to get into. The beginning is a big information deluge that carries us through decades of Ayla’s life. This part would benefit from being trimmed down, and stream-lined, with the repetitiveness removed. I found it very odd to read a large chunk of material right at the beginning of the story that did nothing to really suggest what the main character looked like or acted like, nor her name. There was a bit too much use of the pronoun ‘she’, which doesn’t bring anything personal to the story.
After the story reached the first dialogue, I was hooked, even though worlds so broken into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are difficult for me these days. I prefer worlds born of shades of grey. Black and white lend themselves unnecessary strife, while grey provides more nuances. Gairynzvl’s story is so sad. Once we fully meet him, the story really starts moving along. You can’t help but hope all turns out well for him. He reminds me somewhat of RA Salvatore’s Drizzt, though Drizzt was born a dark elf, not turned one.
A good grammar/spell check would not be amiss. All of the pronoun dialogue tags are capitalised when they shouldn’t be. There are places where words usually capitalised are not, or vice-versa. There are occasionally missing commas or apostrophes, and the stray misspelled word (it is a correctly spelled word, but not the correct word for the sentence. Ex- device became devise). These things grew more noticeable towards the end, but didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story.
🎻🎻🎻🎻 Recommended for those who enjoy lyrical prose, and stories more narrative driven than dialogue driven. I was reminded of LeGuin’s Earthsea trilogy, and Moorcock’s Elric series.