Tolkein would have been proud to see this book published. I think it was one of the documentaries on a LOTR DVD that I remember hearing about the lack of genuine British mythology and how that was one of the main reasons for writing LOTR. This book certainly meets that criteria and must have taken a great deal of research into folklore. The whole premise for this book appears to be based around an ancient legal ceremony called the Quit Rents.
The story starts with Niall, a typical workaholic in London well on his way to his first heart attack. Unfortunately for him this happens in rush hour on the underground. Niall is saved by a mysterious stranger, but that is just the start of a different kind of trouble. Niall finds himself thrown into a world of magic and the Courts of the Fey with only his saviour as a guide. Hated and hunted is never a good start to a new life, but Niall is propelled along a path to save not only himself but the whole of humanity. OK it is a bit more complicated than that but to explain would require a lot of spoilers, and we wouldn’t want that.
Most of the books I really enjoy are fast-paced action filled stories, this however is something different for me. The plot and background takes a long while to build and weave the threads together before you get to the climax. Normally I wouldn’t touch a book like this, especially after reading the reviews on how long it takes to get going. To be honest though I was so absorbed in the background that I didn’t really notice that the story was trickling along until the pace started to increase in the final quarter. I tried to work how the book was going to end, but did not expect the eventual outcome, and there is great scope for follow-ups (The Road to Bedlam) is on my wish list.
This book is an enthralling and uplifting read that shows painstaking attention to detail and a love of British folklore. I enjoyed it and will read The Road to Bedlam soon.