Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mini-Review: Always Forever by Mark Chadbourn

Always Forever is the final book in the Age of Misrule trilogy by Mark Chadbourn (Indiebound, Book Depository, Amazon), tells the story of f a Faerie apocalypse where the modern world is invaded by the magic and magical creatures of Faerie and other similar worlds. It’s set in Britain and I really enjoyed the first two books in the series World’s End (my review, Indiebound, Book Depository, Amazon) and Darkest Hour (my review, Indiebound, Book Depository, Amazon).
The trilogy follows 5 people who are destined to have the power to save humanity from both the Tuatha de Danaan and undeniable evil of the Fomorii and their gods. Their reluctant leader is Church (Jack Churchill) as they struggle to overcome death and despair with the lost of their world as they knew it and the events of Darkest Hour.
I’ve enjoyed this series primarily because it’s both a different sort of apocalypse and the infusion of Celtic myth into the modern world. The way Chadbourn writes the series makes it read sort of like a travel guide of ancient sites of power throughout Britain. I must admit that this really appealed to me as it almost became a sort of bucket list for my next trip to the British Isles (I’ve visited some of these sites, but certainly not all). As such, I often would have my British atlas open as I read. Seeing this fantasized version of how history, myth and legend combine at these historic/pre-historic sites is fascinating, and probably the thing I enjoyed most about the series.
The personal struggles of the 5 ‘Brothers and Sisters of Dragons’ bring an authenticity to events as each person has strengths, weaknesses, and flaws in their character. The contrast of humanity and all its flaws presented against the evil of the Fomorii and lack of humanity of the Tuatha de Danaan brings an interesting depth to much of what happens through the series. The result is a different way to look at the Celtic fantasy that comes in and out of fashion – it’s not romanticized though sticks to typical fantasy format. This balance works quite well and always keeps things interesting.
In retrospect, the end of the series seems obvious and appropriate. It was one that I think I would have figured out had I tried. But the truth is that I would simply dive in and enjoy the writing so much that I never bothered to – and I suppose that little bit says more about the series than just about anything else I can say.

1 comment:

Bob Milne said...

Nice! I've been meaning to give this series a read ever since I picked up the 3 trade paperbacks at a used bookstore a while back.


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