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A few weeks ago I read and loved the first two of R.J. Anderson's faerie books.  This made me quite desperate to read the third installment.  I was hindered from doing this immediately due to the fact that it has not been released in the U.S. yet.  Furthermore there is no U.S. release date in sight.  I was unwilling to settle for this indefinite wait and ordered the book from Amazon UK because it has been released there.  Which just proves how much I liked the first two books.  There are few authors whose work makes me impatient enough to want their books as soon as possible.  Yesterday the mailman brought it to my door and in three hours last night I devoured it.  
Rhosmari has lived her whole life on a sheltered chain of faery islands. But with the Empress's power growing, and her desire to enslave the entire faery race becoming a reality, Rhosmari knows she must fight back...

I am not going to go into detail because I want to keep this spoiler free, not only for this book but the two preceding ones as well.  I could just sum up by saying:  These are awesome books.  Now go forth and read.

But I have a great deal of love in my heart for the book and feel being that brief would be a disservice so here are some general thoughts:

Arrow introduces us to a new faerie heroine, Rhosmari.  She is a completely new character and very different from both Knife and Linden.  I like how Anderson has given the world three strong female protagonist who are all strong in different ways.  They also have weaknesses and are believably real.  Rhosmari has grown up extremely sheltered.  So sheltered in fact that she is at danger in her first foray into the human world because she is naive.  She is intelligent and wary but she simply doesn't know enough to make completely informed decisions.  This makes the first part of the book extremely intense because the reader knows more about the danger she is in than she does.  Rhosmari is a peaceful faerie who absolutely refuses to engage in any acts that may hurt another, even if she herself is in danger.  Which makes the fact that she forayed into the human world at all even more remarkable and displays how courageous she is. 

The boys in these books are thoroughly awesome too.  Timothy plays a large role in this book again and it was wonderful to see him in action and not nearly so overcome with inner conflict and angst as in the last book.  Paul continues to be one of the best heroes ever.  (One scene in particular would have had me clapping my hands if they weren't occupied in holding the book).  Then there is Rob, who I am completely fascinated by.  What little of him we get makes me want to know everything about him. 

I love how all three books have dealt with politics and intrigue in all different forms of government.  Three different types of government are depicted among the faerie folk and none of them is without flaw.  The themes explored through the contrast of all three are numerous yet presented with a light touch.  This book also deals with racial themes in an interesting way because of Rhosmari's family history and origin. 

The fourth faerie book is coming out in 2012 and will be called Swift.  I can't wait.

In the meantime R.J. Anderson has another book coming out this year called Ultraviolet which is of a different type altogether.  She totally made me want to read it when she posted a tiny excerpt on her lj for Valentine's Day.  You can read it and a tiny excerpt from Arrow here


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