I’m breaking Anne Bishop’s different series/worlds into separate posts, in no particular order.
The Tir Alainn or World of the Fae trilogy was the First series I read by Anne Bishop, and I loved it ten years ago, and love it now. Though I think I read the 3rd book first by accident. It’s a mix between historical fiction and high fantasy. The plot, setting, and characters sent me back to the library for the other two books. Compared to Anne Bishop’s other works it can seem a little dry. But I think that’s the difference in genres. There is so much in the world building, past and present. And honestly, and it’s shocking to say this, it probably the least violent of her works, at least towards the characters we see. There is Violence against women, including genital mutilation. And torture of both genders.
So, what is the series about? It is about a world where the magical elements seem to be in danger. There are about 4 different groups, though only 3 have main characters. They are the Fae, Witches, Humans, and Little Folk/People (sprites and such). The Fae are the least involved in the other cultures, before this series. And much is forgotten about the past by most of the world. Including those who depend on the information since forgotten. Now the Fae are disappearing, Witches are dying and a man who calls himself the Inquisitor is trying to conquer the last country to “harbour” them. To me, it is basically a re-imagining of the witch trials that happened across Europe and North America, over a much smaller time scale. It also shows how quickly and easily a single person can alter the beliefs of a group of people just by using their own prejudices and greed against them.