It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited about a newly-discovered writer. I recently read the
prequel novella The First Adventure by Anthea Sharp, part of the Faery Realms ebook bundle. I loved it so much that I immediately purchased her Feyland trilogy, including The Dark Realm, The Bright Court, and The Twilight Kingdom. (Editor's note: See all about the books on Anthea Sharp's site,including the free prequel, here.)
The Feyland universe is the perfect blend of science fiction and fantasy. Set in a futuristic Earth, a video game company is developing an immersive virtual reality video game: Feyland. This is no ordinary video game, though. Some game testers have discovered playing the game leads them into an actual faery realm.
Jennet Carter’s dad is the lead developer on Feyland, but she isn’t allowed to play it… So she sneaks into his home office to play when he’s not around. Unfortunately for Jennet, she doesn’t realize Feyland is real until it’s too late. When she loses the final battle, she loses more than just a video game.
I love these books so much, for so many reasons.
The Feyland books have a wide cast of characters. Jennet is a reformed spoiled rich girl. Tam is one of the best video game players in the world, but his complicated home life keeps him from pursuing a
normal life. Tam’s best friend Marny is unapologetically herself—bold, fat, and unpopular. Roy is
wealthy, handsome, and hungry for power—but not beyond redemption.
The magical faery realm includes the Dark Realm, the Bright Court, and the Twilight Kingdom. Readers familiar with faery tales know the Unseelie and the Seelie Courts, which Sharp masterfully recreates as the Dark Realm and the Bright Court.
In each book, the characters rely on old ballads to learn how to triumph in the final battle. I love how
Sharp weaves real ballads into her futuristic faery tales.
The Video Game
Feyland is an RPG—a role-playing game. Players must complete quests to advance to the next level.
Sharp describes both the game and the actual magical realms with exquisite detail. I love that
progressing through the actual magical realms parallels playing the video game.
Smart houses and flying cars join the immersive virtual reality video games as futuristic technologies in these novels. I would love to one day live in Sharp’s vision of the world!
If you want to discover Feyland for yourself, check out that free prequel!
What faery tales have you read lately?
Brita Long is a francophile feminist living out her own fairy tale with her husband in Ohio. You can find her online at bellebrita.com, where she writes about her faith, books, and her life as a southern belle in the Midwest.