Ben Tyson was an ordinary man with an extraordinary wife, Valeria, a Daoine Sidhe, until the Fomorii, enemies of Faerie, killed her, leaving Ben to raise their son, Malachi. Ten years on, Malachi's fairy powers manifest, but because he is only half fairy, he cannot control them. Ben determines to get Malachi to Faerie and enlists neighbor Jack and Father Jamey to help. Meanwhile, the latent powers of Malachi's contemporaries Russell, Hazel, and Jeff also develop, and the four constitute a tetrad of earth, air, water, and fire mages. Meanwhile, Jack's son Thomas embraces powerful black magic. As magic becomes visible, ordinary people panic, and the tetrad race to reach the nearest Faerie gate before Thomas and the Fomorii. The sensory details of the North Carolina primary setting and the multifaceted characters come alive in Rochelle's hands. Faerie, on the other hand, is hardly explored. The chapters' focuses shift among eight primary and a few supporting characters, making for a jumpy, sometimes cloudy narrative. Still, this is an absorbing fantasy full of sympathetic characters.
— Krista Hutley, Booklist, 15 May 2007
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