To Dance in Liradon by Adrienne Clarke
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Length: Full (220 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by Rose
Seventeen-year-old Brigid O’Flynn is an outcast. A chance encounter with the Faerie Queen left her tainted in the eyes of the villagers, who blame the Faerie for the village’s missing women and children. Desperate to win the village’s acceptance, Brigid agrees to marry her childhood friend: Serious, hardworking, Connell Mackenna. But when Connell disappears before their wedding, Brigid’s hopes are shattered. Blamed for her fiancé’s death, Brigid fears she will suffer the same fate as the other village outcasts, the mysterious Willow Women. Lured into Faerie by their inhuman lovers, and cast out weak and broken, the Willow Women spend their lives searching for the way back into Faerie. When Connell suddenly reappears, Brigid is overjoyed, but everything is not as it seems. Consumed by his desire for beauty and celebration, Connell abandons his responsibilities, and Brigid soon finds herself drawn into a passionate, dangerous world of two.
When Brigid discovers the truth behind Connell’s transformation she’s forced to choose between two men and two worlds. Brigid’s struggle leads her into glittering, ruthless Faerie, where she must rescue her true love from a terrible sacrifice or lose him forever.
To Dance in Liradon is a faery tale… not of the Disney version with fairy godmothers and dancing mice, but like the darker faery tales of Hans Christian Anderson or the Brothers Grimm. The fae are not to be trusted–as 17-year-old Brigid found out to her sorrow. As a child, she had met the Queen of the Fae after picking a flower for her mother–only to find out that keeping it came with a price–the death of her father. This was particularly hard on Brigid, for he had told her story after story about finding her true love and romance.
Shunned by the village because of her encounter with the fae, Brigid found unwanted favor from the Lord of the village. A childhood friend, Connell, proposes –to keep her safe and to help her gain acceptance from the villagers. However, even though Brigid accepts Connell’s proposal, she still wishes for the romance she has dreamed of all her life. When Connell comes back from a trip changed–romantic, attentive, loving–Brigid has won her heart’s desire–or has she?
Ms. Clarke does an admirable job presenting the dark side of fae and the appeal of giving up the daily toil for a chance at a lifetime of pleasure. In the Willow Women, she presents the alternate reality for those who have joined with the fae for a season.
There are many layers in this story of the search for true love and I highly recommend it.