Robin: The Knights of Liöfwende is a trilogy: the individual books are Spiggot’s Quest, Mallmoc’s Castle and Boggart and Fen. It is a solid adventure story, with lots of travelling, questing and fighting, which is also quite comic, much of the humour coming from the differing expectations of the mortals and the faerie.

Liöfwende (part of the land of faerie) is in the same place as England (part of Mortaland). The covers of the books reflect this, showing maps overlain on each other. In the words of Spiggot: “They sort of live together, side by side.” They even have some of the same place names, though the weather is rather different. It is possible to slip from one to the other, deliberately or by accident. Some of the faerie spend quite a bit of time on the mortal side, others not.

In Liöfwende, little changes. It is “always mediaeval”. There is history – faerie wars of the past are mentioned, and there are newcomers from overseas, some harmless, like the forest-dwelling leshy, and some ferocious, like the trolls. Liöfwende, however, is quite disconnected from human history.

The fairies are the gentry, the aristocrats of Liöfwende, and they are not only more beautiful but more powerful than the elves or the pixies. The goblins are tradesmen, and only accept crooked sixpences in payment. There are many different clans, of all kinds of faerie. Almost everyone looks down on the boggarts, although – or perhaps because – they are skilled craftworkers. The variety of faerie, engagingly described whether good or bad, beautiful or ugly, is a great strength of the trilogy.

The human Jack is always complaining that things don’t make sense, that there’s no logic to what happens; he finds it chaotic. The faerie find this baffling; for them it is magic which is natural. Spiggot claims that serendipity – fortunate chance – is the science of Liöfwende.

At the beginning of the trilogy there is unease in the land. It is under hidden attack, and faerie armies are assembling, though no one knows who to fight – yet.

The first book is Spiggot’s Quest.

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