A review of Fae – The Wild Hunt
Rating 4/5 stars.
Ok, I will admit I am a soft touch for a Faery story. Ever since I was a wee lass being regaled by tales told by my grandmothers, both women capable of story telling in the most dramatic style. I was both terrified and entranced as I heard about the Lords and Ladies, the pixie, the kelpie and their wicked cruel ways. What fates would befall naughty children who didn’t listen to their elders, or those who wandered off alone. I got the full gaelic chronicles from Nann Ellis who told me of Giants, wee people, The Morrigan and others. From Mimi Hames I learnt about the English fairy tales. Of children taken in the night, naughty pixies, wicked trolls and witches. Hers were more the Grimm Bros version.
To a small girl these were fact, not fancy. I would roam the garden, the bush imagining all sorts of creatures. I drew and read about them all over and over all through my childhood. Nothing has changed. I still love a good faery story. Graham Austin-King has written one. Fae- The Wild Hunt is an enchanting and disturbing book.
This book is told by a few main characters, Devin the lost boy, Kloss the Raider and Lady Selena the independent thinking noble woman. And then there are the Fae. No skipping around fairy rings, fluttering by on gossamer wings for this lot. These are the real thing. Dark, cold, vicious and set to destroy any human in their path.
The old ways are nearly forgotten by all . The wards are not renewed. The Fae have a doorway open and they are making up for lost time. The action is great, the suspense is well done and the Fae are truly scary. Graham Austin-King creates an interesting and varied world populated by real people who live in hard times. A new religion is growing, promising better for those who believe. But will it be the means of their downfall or their saviour? Who will stop the Fae?
There is much here to like. This is Graham Austin-Kings first adult book and he has done well. I read this very fast in a couple of sittings which is usually an indication the author knows his craft. I was left wanting to know what happens next so he has succeeded in getting my vote to buy the next book he writes. Hurry up Graham!
Graham Austin-King author profile and interview
Graham Austin-King began his writing with children’s stories to entertain his children when walking them to and from school. When he started getting demands to repeat the same story over and over again he decided to write them down. Liam and the Grump was soon followed by Captain Pegleg and the Greatest Treasure.
Fantasy is the genre which has always appealed to him, a result of reading too many books and playing too many roleplaying games and computer games. Having weaned himself on Tolkein he cut his teeth on David Eddings and Raymond E. Feist. Finally the keyboard beckoned, there were worlds to create.
Graham lives in Kent in England with his wife and three younger children.
GAK: I think I have probably wanted to write since childhood but I don’t think I seriously believed it was something I would ever do. I wanted to be an astronaut too, and a superhero as I recall, but only one of those worked out.
I tried writing in my mid teens. That awful high school novel that I think a lot of people try to do. Thinking back it had some good concepts in it, a bit Dean Koontz meets Stephen King but then they both got really drunk before trying to write anything. Good ideas… bad writing.
The lightbulb moment for this book came from the concept of the fae themselves. Who ever said fairies were nice? Prior to Disney I can’t think of a single truly nice fairy. Even Tinkerbell in the original Peter Pan was a long way from the saccharin coated things that most people think of when you say fairy. So from there it was a simple progression. Where do they come from? What do they want? What keeps us safe?
GAK: I’ve read an awful lot of fantasy and I’d imagine I have probably taken some inspiration or writing lessons from most of them. I credit David Eddings with getting me into the genre in the first place and think he had a great talent for bantering dialogue. My main modern influences I would say are Patrick Rothfuss and Peter V Brett. Both have fabulous concepts and beautiful writing. If I ever get to be half the writer they are I’ll be happy.
BCN: Do you stick to a routine when writing? Or does spontaneity help the creative process?
GAK: I set myself a word count that must be achieved. It’s usually 10’000 words a week which I managed to hit most of the time. I’m a stay at home dad so writing had to fit between school runs and my youngest son’s naps. That said, my writing was largely spontaneous. I knew where I wanted to get to but I didn’t plot out the story.
I got blocked a couple of times when writing this book. My wife used to kick me out of the house and make me walk into the village to buy wine. I would talk to myself and work through the problem. On reflection it’s not a good image is it? A man walking along muttering away to himself about fairies with a bottle of wine in his hand?
GAK: The main two characters are too obvious. I have a few favourites, probably the smaller roles for some reason. I like Selena, she’s quite heavily influenced by my wife, I like the way she develops. I think my overall favourite though has to be Obair. He has one of the smallest parts in the book, but then in a way his story is the whole of the book. There is a lovely bleak thread running through his tale and it was a lot of fun to write.
BCN: What is your pet hate in the writing process?
GAK: Editing. Proofreading and editing. I didn’t realise what a sloppy typist I was until I started going back through my first draft. I loathe editing with a passion and thankfully I had some great people proofing and betareading but there is always something that slips through.
BCN: And being Bloody Cake News, what is your favourite cake?
GAK: Do we class Tiramisu as a cake? Failing that then Black Forest Gateau.
BCN: Many thanks, Graham.by Leanne Ellis Graham Austin-King website: http://www.grahamaustin-king.com Graham Austin-King on Twitter: @GrayAustin