Virtual Book Tour To Dance in Liradon by Adrienne Clarke
Welcome to my stop on Adrienne Clarke's Virtual Book Tour for To Dance in Liradon. Please make sure to leave a comment or question below for Adrienne to let her know you stopped by. Adrienne will be awarding one winner a choice of a Kindle touch, Nook Simple Touch, or a $100 Apple gift card, and one crystal Faerie necklace to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. You can follow her tour stops here, the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.
To Dance in Liradon by Adrienne Clarke
Kindle, Kindle UK, Barnes and Noble, Kobo
Blurb- 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.
This is an old style fairy tale, where the faeries are all trickery and empty promises. You can't eat anything there without getting stuck there and they have a very dark side. These are the kind that steal babies and women and Brigid has been marked for having seen the Faerie Queen. In the eyes of the villagers, she is just as bad as being a fae folk and they shun her at best, torture her at worst. So when she turns 17 and her mother thinks the most eligible bachelor in town, the miller Connell has his eye on her, her mother at least believes her troubles are over. But she's unsure of her feelings for him and she's just as unsure of his feelings for him. Is he doing it out of pity, the need to rescue her from her would be tormentors or does he feel something for her? Then he disappears on a trip to buy a bolt of fabric for her wedding dress and the villagers resort to drastic measures to be rid of the curse Brigid brings on the town.
I can't say what time period this is but it's far enough back in time that the pagan superstitions still outweigh the Christian ways. The villagers may go to church but still believe in all the old ways to keep the "fair folk" from entering their homes and from getting them lost in the woods. Enough that they shun a young girl as being marked because she spoke to the Faerie Queen and then whenever there is a failed crop or drought or a babe goes missing, it is her fault. And the villagers have to ask the count that rules over the land for permission to wed. So that's how far back. And Clarke does a good job of making you feel like you are in that time period with the cottages, the clothing, the food, it all fits, at least in my mind.
Brigid's father died three days after her encounter with the Faerie Queen, another thing she is blamed for and her head is full of all the love stories he was fond of telling. She's waiting on her white knight to come riding in and sweep her off her feet, but she has very naive ideas about love and what it really means. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the characters in the novel. Brigid shows a lot of growth and understanding in her confusing situations. Honestly, I don't know how I would have chosen in her place, but I accept her decision as the best option and clearly showing her understanding of real love. But Connell, too, shows growth, and an unexpected acceptance of a situation I didn't think he would. There were layers beneath his quiet gruff exterior that came out very slowly.
I think Adrienne Clarke took a simple story and added a layer of complexity to it with some plot twists and great characters and really made a great story out of it. I really didn't expect this much of a story out of To Dance in Liradon, but this was a really great story! With the final words of the page I am thinking there will be a sequel to the novel and I very much hope so. Clarke's writing is easy and beautiful in a simple way. No frilly descriptions, yet you can feel the velvety leaves under your feet as you read or the cool water on your too hot face. Beautifully done!