Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Otherworld Trilogy by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson

   "I sometimes tried to convince myself that it was my awkward height and scattering of freckles that made people turn away from me, but I knew deep down that it was my eyes.  They were the windows to the soul, so the saying went.  If that was the case then there must be something dreadfully wrong with my soul if people couldn't even bring themselves to look me in the eye.  I had trouble doing so myself."

   Meghan was a troubled teen that had no idea who her real parents were.  She had been found walking down the streets on Halloween night completely naked.  She had been two years old.

  "I had the dream again; the one that always comes to me this time of year.  The fog wasn't as thick as usual in my dreamscape, but I could feel the grit and cold of the blacktop beneath my bare feet.  I looked down.  Of course I was naked, but at least I was a toddler in the dream."

   While growing up, Meghan heard voices in the trees, and saw horrible creatures around her.  The family that adopted her were the first people to look at her like she was a normal human being.  They took her to therapists and specialists and eventually things seemed to get better for Meghan.  But deep down she just always felt different.  Besides the small circle of friends she had, the kids at school never accepted her either.  Meghan was not one of the popular crowd, ever.  It's hard enough to deal with a hostile school environment, but then she meets a mysterious and uber hot guy named Cade down in the swamp area behind her family's home.  As she is being attacked by some very nasty looking hellhounds, Cade appears out of nowhere to help save her with his spirit guide Fergus, a large white dog.  Cade has a different explanation for why she sees and hears what she does.  His suggestion?  She isn't actually human at all.  She is Faelorehn and Fomorian.  And the creatures that appear so hideous to her are from this other world that she is from.  There is a certain raven in particular that keeps following Meghan around.  This very creepy and huge black bird just happens to be the Morrigan.  The Morrigan is Cade's mother, and she is a very dangerous foe.  Her power is immense and she wants the large amount of power that Meghan has herself.  It doesn't matter to the Morrigan how she gets it either.  As Meghan finds out this terrible truth, it casts some shadow of doubt over her growing feelings for Cade.  There are so many secrets about him.
   As she starts to learn more about her  homeland, she finds out how deeply woven her roots are among old Celtic lore.  There are gods and goddesses where Meghan is from that cannot ever be killed.  They can be vanquished for hundreds or thousands of years, but never really killed.  It turns out that Meghan's own mother is the goddess Danua and a queen.  She cannot believe she is a princess.  And unfortunately the welcome she gets from Danua is not what she expected.  The queen is a somewhat harsh and cold woman that seems to be without much emotion.  Because of Meghan only being half Faelorehn, many of the people she meets at her mother's court do not readily accept her.  It was high school all over again.  The funny looks, the whispering and all.  But she is not alone.  Cade is always with her and he too is a "half breed" of sorts.  His father was Cuchulain.  A powerful warrior that left the Morrigan rather jaded.  Cade inherited a certain trait from his father that scares most every woman he ever met away.  Except Meghan.  She sees his transformation on the battlefield as they fight for their lives against the Morrigan's evil faelah, an assortment of half dead looking animals with no qualms about killing them while under her evil goddess's orders.  Cade turns into what looks like some kind of malformed demon.  And he fights like one too.  Through it all he stands by her to keep her protected.  He just can't help himself.
    The Otherworld Trilogy is written in Meghan's perspective.  This is one trilogy that I found it much easier to relate to.  For many high school is a very trying time in life.  We look around trying to find a place in the world and try to find out who we are.  Trying to fit in and yet be yourself, can be difficult and at times heart breaking.  The balance is not an easy one to achieve.  It is a journey of self discovery that we all must go through.  And Meghan's journey is especially difficult.  She was different from everyone around her from the very beginning.  As you find out later in the trilogy, Danua sent her away to protect her.  But it's hard for Meghan to accept and understand this for quite some time.  To mend the bond between them takes real effort.  And although she was so very in love with Cade, shhe had to learn to trust him as well.  The family Meghan grew up with always loved her for who she was no matter what that was.  And they were very understanding and accepting of who she really was when she told them she was not really human.  She and Cade had been outcasts to some degree.  But their willingness to help save the whole immortal realm opened the eyes of those that did not accept them so much.  Although Meghan did not grow up there, she loved the land of Eile where she was born.

   The Otherworld Trilogy contains three stories: Faelorehn, Dolmarehn, and Luathara.  You can purchase them separately or together on Amazon  and other various sites.  And as an extra bonus, the author has added The Birth of a Trilogy, which is about how her books came about, and a character interview with Cade and Meghan if you purchase all three together for the kindle.

For more about Jenna Elizabeth Johnson check out her blog:

*quotes credited via Jenna Elizabeth Johnson (The Otherworld Trilogy Book One: Faelorehn)
*image credited via Jenna Elizabeth Johnson (Amazon Books)

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