Thursday, February 14, 2013

To Dance in Liradon by Adrienne Clarke - review tour and giveaway

This review is done in conjunction with the author's tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Adrienne will be awarding winner's choice of a Kindle touch, Nook Simple Touch, or a $100 Apple gift card, and one crystal Faerie necklace similar to what Brigid wore to the Faerie ball to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so leave your thoughts here and you're entered! If you want more chances to win, visit the rest of her tour stops here.

To Dance in Liradon by Adrienne Clarke
Fantasy YA
220 pgs
4 stars

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.

My review:  The search for true love is a staple of many plots: Romeo and Juliet; The Princess Bride; many fairytales. In To Dance in Liradon, Adrienne Clarke brings yet another story to the mix. This is a beautiful story about a girl who once had the misfortune of running into the Fairy Queen. Shunned by the other people in the village, she's blamed for anything that goes wrong in the village--from the death of her father to children who go missing.

The story begins with Brigid declaring to her mother that she does not love Connell--her childhood friend who wants to marry her. She grew up on her father's stories of true love and has her heart set on marrying her one true love. However, the course of true love can be strewn with confusion about what love truly is. Ms. Clarke keeps the reader on the edge of her seat. And, she keeps you wondering up to the end exactly what Brigid will decide and who she will choose.

I completely enjoyed this novel, and recommend it for teens of all ages.  Thanks for a fun book!

Now enjoy an excerpt:

Brigid allowed herself to be dragged to the edge of the circle before she raised her right foot and kicked backwards as hard as she could. Midir released his hold long enough for her to remove the horseshoe from her bodice. When he tried to seize her again, she shoved him away, the object gripped firmly in her hand.

Midir stumbled backwards, and the smell of burning flesh filled the air. A desperate, keening sound rose up from the circle before it broke apart and every Faerie man and woman rushed towards her. Long slender arms grabbed hold of each of her limbs, and Brigid felt certain they intended to tear her to pieces. A violet-eyed woman sat on top of Brigid’s chest, crushing the air from her lungs. Brigid watched the beauty leak from her face until it was a hollow masque of rage.

“Release her!” the Faerie Queen screamed.

Whining like disappointed children, the Faerie reluctantly retreated, and Brigid rose shakily to her feet.

The Faerie Queen’s eyes flashed cruelly. “If you want him, come and claim him!”

I think I became a writer because the world inside my head was so real and vivid, sometimes more so than the outside world. In some sense I have lived parallel lives, present in my real and imaginary lives in different ways. Because much of my childhood was spent searching for faeries or reading about them, it is natural that my work encompasses fairy tale themes and other magical elements. In the words of Tennessee Williams, forget reality, give me magic!

Adrienne has previously published short stories in The Storyteller, Beginnings Magazine, New Plains Review, and in the e-zines A Fly in Amber, Grim Graffiti, Les Bonnes Fees, The Altruist, The Devilfish Review, and Rose Red Review. Her short story, Falling was awarded second place in the 2008 Alice Munro short fiction contest. To Dance in Liradon is her first published novel.

An avid reader of fairy tales and other magical stories, a thread of the mysterious or unexpected runs through all of her work. When she’s not writing Adrienne can be found searching for faeries along with her daughters Callista and Juliet.

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  1. I really enjoyed this book - it's the perfect mix of fantasy and romance. Thanks for the excerpt

    maria63303 at gmail dot com

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book, Maria! Thank you for stopping by.

  2. Thank you so much for reviewing my novel. I really enjoyed hearing your thoughts.

    1. Thanks for writing it! We really did enjoy the read.

  3. Has the blog tour helped in promoting the book? Just wondering since I'm thinking of starting a book blog.

    1. If anyone should start a book blog, it's you, Jessica. I know a lot of writers out there would be thrilled if you channelled all your support and love for books and authors into your own blog. Go for it!

  4. Great review and another great excerpt.

  5. The path to true love is never smooth in stories. Great reading though.


  6. Hello Adrienne Clark,
    Your description of your parallel world between your reality and your imagination sounds similar to your character Brigid's encounter with Faerie World. I am not familiar with a world where Faerie's would hurt someone. I've only heard of them as benevolent. I will have to decide if I want to explore another world with more sinister Faeries.
    Yours truly,

  7. I really enjoyed this post! It's making me want to read it more and more! Thanks for sharing!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com