This is more a quick discussion on the various worlds to be found within the Goldstone Wood series. Technically speaking, there are three: The Near World, of Mortals, the Far World of Faerie, and the Between.
In Heartless, we never see the Far World. All the action takes place in the Near World and then briefly in the Between, also known as the Halflight Realm or Goldstone Wood. Una, Felix, and the other mortals of this story aren’t entirely convinced that there is anything beyond the Near World. Of course, they have heard stories of the Between and the strange peoples of Faerie. But they are entering a day and age when these stories are considered more legend than history. They don’t overtly disbelieve them . . . but they simply haven’t seen much sign of Far World activity in many generations. And there certainly haven’t been any dragons.
But Una and Felix live much closer to the Far World than they realize. There own Goldstone Wood is part of the Between World that borders both realms of reality. And the old bridge they are forbidden to cross? Well, we don’t know where that leads exactly . . . but might it be a crossing from the Near World to the Far? Perhaps, perhaps.
We certainly get a good glimpse at a number of people from the Far World. And some strange people they are! Remember the gentleman selling “unicorn fry” at the Twelve Year Market? Or the green man who tries to sell Una fey flowers in exchange for a strand of her hair? And don’t forget the mystic dealer, Torkom, who may or may not have been a goblin, with his fancy tent and his evil visions.
Prince Aethelbald himself steps out of the Far World. This does not mean that he necessarily comes from there, however. He claims to be from Farthestshore, but it’s not clear whether or not Farthestshore is part of any of these worlds.
Felix’s sojourn into the Between gives us a clearer view of what that realm might hold. As he takes shelter in the Haven under Dame Imraldera’s care, he keeps seeing crossover visions. Sometimes, his room is a beautiful chamber with carved moldings and paneled walls. Sometimes, it’s a forest grove. Both are true, neither dominant. Sometimes the view out his window is nothing but forest. Sometimes it overlooks a fantastic drop over a river. Again, both are true. The Haven, situated as it is in the Wood Between, can give glimpses into the Far World beyond.
So we know of at least three realms of existence, three levels of reality. Might there be more? Quite possibly! But we have plenty to explore with these three for now. In Veiled Rose we shall plunge deeper into the Wood Between. In Moonblood, it will be high time to cross the Old Bridge and see what lies in the Far World of Faerie . . .