Sunday, November 19, 2023

Review: Far From Mortal Realms by Karen A. Wyle

Genre: Fantasy


Negotiating with the Fair Folk is a tightrope walk over deadly perils. And even the most skilled can misstep.

The many wondrous realms the Fair Folk inhabit offer tempting opportunities for mortals hoping to benefit from faerie magic. But making bargains with the Fair Folk is a dangerous business, for the fae have a habit of leaving loopholes to snare the unwary. Father-and-daughter lawyers Abe and Adira have made a career out of helping their fellow humans reach such agreements safely.

Abe and Adira know the rules for dealing with Fair Folk: don't reveal your true name, don't say thank you, don't accept gifts, don't eat fae food, don't tell even the slightest of lies . . . . Oh, and always, no matter the provocation, be unfailingly polite.

A moment of carelessness, a brief lapse, and a professional defender of mortal interests may be in dire need of rescue.”


“Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana. She now considers herself a Hoosier. She is an appellate attorney, photographer, and mother of two.

Wyle's thoughtful and compassionate fiction includes SF, historical romance, and fantasy. She has also collaborated with several wonderful illustrators to produce picture books. Relying on her legal background, she has written one nonfiction resource, explaining American law to authors, law students, and anyone else interested in better understanding the legal landscape. Wyle's voice is the product of a lifetime spent reading both literary and genre fiction. Her personal history has led her to focus on often-intertwined themes of family, communication, the impossibility of controlling events, and the persistence of unfinished business.”


I don’t read books in the fantasy genre very often and after I finished this I started wondering why. I’m not sure, but if every fantasy book was as good a read as this one, I might not read anything else. It has the three things that I look for in a book.

The first of these are characters, especially the main characters or protagonists. While not an absolute requirement, having likeable protagonists, people who you care about once you get to know them, helps keep you involved in the story. If you don’t care what happens to them, why finish reading the story? This delivers on that with Abe and his daughter Adira, the father/daughter team of attorneys who are this book’s protagonists, are likeable and had me pulling for them all the way.

The second critical item that this book delivers on is a goal. This is usually developed in the first part of the book and the characters move toward it until the end of the book with the possibility of the goal changing or evolving. In a romance book this would be the prospective couple getting together. In a police procedural it would be catching the guilty criminal. I’ll leave it to you to find out the goal of this story so as to not introduce any spoilers.

The third item a good book needs is a good story world. Often this is just our contemporary world in some random generic location that feels like it could be anywhere. For many stories, that’s enough. But the story world here is what sets this apart from most books in other genres. Part of the story takes place in the mortal world (that generic location above), but much of it takes place in other “realms” that are vastly different from our mortal world. These realms are unique, each populated by beings that are unique to their particular realm in what they look like, how they communicate, and other ways. Understanding and figuring out the different realms as our main characters have cause to visit them adds much to the story.

I’m glad I gave this one a try in spite of being a bit outside my normal reading choices and highly recommend it.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words

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