I slipped a cog here. I should have given this story at least 3 stars.
This is like a romance novel with annoying characters constantly thwarting each other. The protagonist can't decide whether she is angry or happy about turning into a fairy. The dialogue is ponderous and confusing. On many occasions, information is withheld from a character by another for no apparent reason. And just like in a romance novel there are more or less constant descriptions of the protagonist's and other character's bodily responses to their volatile emotions. I got really tired of hearing "she felt her heart pounding or "he hummed with tension" or "air became a physical thing as it wrapped around my throat" etc..." Practically every page.
Pretty good story line and world creation, but falls way short of it's potential in my view because of the soap opera style dialogue.
This trilogy is a fun read. Set in a neat created world which has 4 main races.
1.Delvers-humans who are attuned to nature, are very, very fast and love to delve and discover.
4. Algors. Lizard like gentle mind linked desert dwellers.
The protagonists are a Quaker-like Delver, a couple of elves; one with a very short fuse, a human captain of the town militia and an evolving mage who is just learning to use the newly returned magic.
The denizens are frequently at odds, but unite in the first volume temporarily and send their heroes to destroy an orb which is deeply buried and guarded by traps. It has prevented magic from the world but now may fall into the wrong hands.
The book deals with the return of magic and it's magical monsters such as goblins, The warring between races (and those monsters) and the moral issues of deciding to co-exist and manage adversaries and evil, try to modify them with reason and action or simply destroy. Arguments are common between the main characters who have very different moral compass.
All this occurs in a fast paced easy to read interesting storyline. If I have one criticism, it's the dialogue. Somewhat stilted, and the characters frequently seem to take instant offense at statements which seem bland and non confrontational-seems a bit contrived.
The Japanese are out to regain their world hegemony and are attacking the very foundation of the American way-corporate America! (kind of an exaggeration of their somewhat predatory behavior in the 80s when they undersold US companies at a loss to drive them out of business and then bought the leftover husks.)But this is on a much grander scale. First they must make lots of money....then........
Fast paced, very interesting characters, lots of good cultural content, well crafted, good read all around.