Shadeside: a mysterious city, the City of Waiting. You canít get there unless Shadeside wants you there, and you belong there for some reason that you must discover, unless you donít mind living is an uneasy ignorance. People, elves, and other beings are wherever they hail from one day; the next, they awake in Shadeside and have to start their lives afresh, watch where they step, and make the right sorts of friends and enemies else they perish in rapid order. The cityís nickname is fitting: when you awaken there, you play a waiting game, biding your time and piecing together the clues that will hopefully lead you to an awareness of who you are and why youíre there.
This is the city, the world, where Jane wakes up. She remembers her first name fairly quickly but recalls scant other details about her previous life, and those only hazily. The balance of the novella is spent with Jane trying to discover who she really is and who the man is whom she is fated to seek and eventually find.
The plot device of someone with a forgotten past awakening either into their own world or another and recovering their memories bit by bit is not new. What an author does within the parameters of a theme or convention is what will either make or break a work. There is nothing really new under the sun; itís how an author expresses him or herself and uses the tools of description and language and how well he or she develops the characters and makes them live and breathe for readers that is important.
Initially Jane is under the protection of one of several rival royal Houses in the Shadeside: House Ender. The kind Dark Elf, Lord Moonshadow, takes her in and cares for her, despite the strife this causes with the other Houses, especially the human House Kora wants her at their House simply because she is human, and because they want to antagonize Lord Moonshadow and House Ender. Otherwise, they donít really care about her welfare at all. Her decision to remain under the protection of Lord Moonshadow is a wise one but earns her enemies, especially at House Kora.
The novella is divided into seven sections: Waking, Leaving, Betrayed, Seeking, Found, Reflection and Absolution. Jane sets off on her own with the loyal ax-wielding servant of Lord Moonshadow, Derax, and the beautiful Dark Elf Shifra, who befriends her at the novellaís beginning.
I have greatly enjoyed this authorís short stories previous to The Lady of Seeking in the City of Wanting. Her skill at describing Shadeside and breathing life into her characters is further proof to me that this author is definitely worth the attention of any fan of the fantasy and science fiction genres.