Title: The Grail and the Ring
Author: Teresa Edgerton
Publisher: Ace Books
# of Pages: About 450
This sequel to The Castle of the Silver Wheel has the vice of not being terribly intelligible if you don't know the first book; indeed, it practically demands a genealogical chart. Otherwise, it's a fine exploration of the situation that arises when a kingdom comes under a curse and an heir must be found to do penance for his father's sin--but nobody knows what the sin was or where the heir is! Gwenlliant and Tryffin, wed at the end of the first book, are now exploring the full range of their powers and becoming deeply involved in the search for the heir. A well-told tale that captures the Celtic faerie atmosphere in all its beauty and confusion.
This is the second book in the Chronicles of Celydonn trilogy. It was a little bit harder for me to get into than the first book in the series was, though I can't really say why. Again, the hero and heroine spend most of the book apart from each other. Based on this, I don't find the romance between them as easy to understand as that between the hero and heroine in most of Edgerton's other novels. The book has, as always, excellent world-building and plot development, and Edgerton really does (as stated above by Booklist) seem to have a great grasp on Celtic atmosphere. The story had many faeries and fey characters, but I don't think the character development was particularly great.
And maybe that's why this trilogy doesn't hit me the way that Edgerton's other books do. It is epic fantasy, so the characters perhaps can't be as fun as those in Goblin Moon or The Queen's Necklace. But I thoroughly enjoyed Ceilyn and Teleri in the first Celydonn series, and they were in an epic fantasy setting as well. Only those two clearly grew through the series, and one could see the influence of the one side on the other. In this series, that isn't so apparent.
However, a Teresa Edgerton book is always a nice companion for an evening, and the book was interesting and plot-driven, though not so exciting as to make me want to jump up and get the last book in the series off the shelf. Though this might also be because after that one, I'll have no more Edgerton books to read until her next book is published ...