It has been a few years since I last reviewed Teel James Glenn but I still remember both author and work fondly. And so I was pleased when he made contact regarding a new book that had recently been published, Queen Morgana and the Renfaires. Glenn's latest work is a collection of interweaving stories with the titular Queen Morgana being the major connection between them. I think the best way of describing this work is as Shakespeare meets pulp fiction meets film noir. Does that sound like a lot of fun? I hope it does because that is certainly what I found it to be.
To summarise events... Queen Morgana will not allow free passage between the realms of the Fae and of humans. Because of this, both realms are dying and the only bridge between the worlds is the place where dreams live in the daylight - Renaissance Faires. As the book progresses a group of humans stumbles through the portal (a movie make-up man, a Vietnam vet, a private detective and a crippled cop to name a few) and one must show the Queen of the Fae what true love is or they will perish in the greater darkness that is growing day by day.
The old adage urges an author to "write about what they know" and Glenn certainly takes this advice on-board. His colourful and impressive curriculum vitae lists stuntman, fight choreographer, sword-master, jouster, book illustrator, bodyguard and actor and almost all of the humans that cross the portal between realms are creations that owe much to his experience within these professions and this lends an air of authenticity to all his human characters. He is also a veteran of nearly fifty Renaissance Faires and this knowledge is used extensively within the story.
Glenn's work is thoroughly likeable and he pours of himself into the stories with an obvious joy that passes on to the reader. I enjoyed each and every story - the way they were told, the plot arcs and the characters and it was also fun for there to be such an adult, sexual edge to proceedings, which that came as as welcome change having read so much young adult fiction recently.
So, if you are looking for Shakespeare with a contemporary feel, injected with detective noir and strictly for adults then look no further. Queen Morgana and the Renfairies was a breeze to read and that main feelings I take away from it is of the passion and wry sense of humour that was prevalent throughout. If Willie S was asked to write pulp fiction this could well have been the result. I recommend this book with a large and genuine smile.
The most fitting way to end to this review is with a quote from Melchett in Blackadder II, which perfectly sums up the happenings in Queen Morgana and the Renfairies: "Like private parts to the Gods are we, they play with us for their sport."
Review by Floresiensis
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