Rainbow Reading is our weekly series focusing on book reviews with a geeky/sci-fi/fantasy/supernatural flair with LGBTQ characters. Today I review Immortal by Amy Lane.
Author’s Note – This is set in a fairy-tail kingdom a long, long time ago. This is also set in our backyards, yesterday. Fantasy is always a little more cutting than our real life. Let it be so.
Immortal is different from Amy Lane’s contemporary books, and yet the same. It is filled with pain and angst for the main characters and in the end good overcomes evil. This is truly a fairy-tail. There is an evil prince, an enchanted dark forest, heroes and a fantasmil ending.
The story opens with a glimpse into the hell of Teyth’s life. It changes when his sexually abusive stepfather sells him to the village blacksmith – Cairsten. This one action turns out to be the best thing that has ever happened to Teyth. He is in a home with food, people who don’t hurt him and can learn a skill. Teyth has a case of hero worship for Diarmuid who is Caristen’s apprentice. Diarmuid was taken in by Cairsten as a young boy after he was found wondering in the woods.
Teyth life is turning around, and the only thing he really misses from his old life is his younger brother, Aubrey. He is able to see his younger brother sporadically when his mother comes into the village. This sustains his need, until his stepfather is killed. For one brief moment, Teyth believes he can now help support his younger mother and brother. His mother lets him down yet again by entering the Prince’s tower and taking Aubrey with her. There is nothing Teyth can do now, so he moves on.
We continue to see the development of Teyth’s and Diarmuid relationship from hero worship to love. Every time Teyth and Diarmuid start to move toward a more substantial relationship, something happens to friends, loved ones and family. The struggle shows the true strength of characters that after everything they have been through, their thoughts are about how to help others. Diarmuid wants to help the village, and Teyth wants to protect Diarmuid. Along the way, Teyth and Diarmuid not only do what they can to help the village, they learn how to use the dark forest to their benefit.
I read this when it came out, but I will not be able to reread anytime soon. Amy Lane has made the characters and their pain too real to me. In the end, there is joy and good overcomes evil, but there are so many struggles that involve humiliation, pain and fear that come before that moment. It is a beautiful book that pulled me into the story immediately. I hated the evil prince, and was rooting not only for Diarmuid and Teyth, but the entire village. Read this book, and you will not be disappointed. You will need tissues though, and a support system around you that doesn’t think you are crazy because you are yelling at the characters in a book.