Tag Archive | fairies

Review: Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

Series: Spindle Fire #1

spindle-fire-lexa-hillyerIt all started with the burning of the spindles.
No.
It all started with a curse…

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood–and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape . . . or the reason for her to stay.

Spindle Fire is the first book in a lush fantasy duology set in the dwindling, deliciously corrupt world of the fae and featuring two truly unforgettable heroines.


4 Drink Me Potions


Thank you Edelweiss and HarperCollins for this copy in exchange for an honest review

**Spindle Fire comes out April 11, 2017**

“Light too can be a curse. It can illuminate things no one should ever have to witness.”

Spindle Fire was more than just a re-telling of Sleeping Beauty. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting going into the book as Sleeping Beauty wasn’t ever one of my favourite fairy tales, but I truly enjoyed the imaginative atmosphere that Lexa Hillyer weaved into this story.

The plot and the girls

Moving between POVs from our two main leads, Aurora and Isabelle, made the story seem faster paced. I don’t know, it may just be me on this, but whenever there are multiple POVs and things just seem to kind of hang at the end of one character’s plotline, I seem to hurriedly go through the next character’s so that I get back to the really intense moment we were left with earlier. So this is how I kind of flew through much of Spindle Fire.

That’s not to say that the story wasn’t mostly well-paced. It was slow at the beginning, mostly because we all know the elements of Sleeping Beauty’s story (ie. Aurora falling asleep) would have to occur at some point, but the beginning was captivating with the backstory laid out.

Isabelle is clearly my favourite of the two. She’s blind, with the excerpt above coming from her wise, WISE views on the world. (You will notice as you read that Hillyer’s prose is very descriptive in a “oh, that’s such a nice way of describing this deep concept”.) She doesn’t let her position in court bring her down. Who says the bastard child can’t be just as awesome (if not better) as the “royal” one?

Her love for her younger sister is astonishing. You would think being the legitimate and the bastard child of a king would set them against each other but there was never animosity between them. Only love. It may be easier for Aurora to love her (or pity her for her station in life), but to be the underprivileged one to likewise feel just as protective for the spoiled one, it’s difficult to imagine.

Then again, Aurora was the cliched smart, beautiful, kind and obedient princess that fairy tales kind of like to have (or at least the traditional Disney ones–NOT your scary Brothers Grimm ones). So yes, Aurora wasn’t as interesting of a character, but she too grew a lot throughout her demise (and oh boy is there a lot going on with her even in sleep) which made me like her a bit more.

Oh, and there’s also the interesting fact that fairies tithed away 2 of 5 senses (you’re running out of senses, poor girl) on permission by her royal parents (such parents!) to make her the cliched princess that she is. She can’t speak, but even more interestingly, she can’t touch. I suppose that means no physical feelings, but I never could figure out if that included emotional ones. Maybe they’re all tied up in one another sometimes.

So what I’ve described so far hasn’t really made you feel too excited, has it? Cliched spoiled princess and the underdog who may show her true colours as a hero. And of course, the Sleeping Beauty story arc, with the needle pricking Aurora and evil witches (can’t have a story without those evil witches, can we?).

And then things CHANGE.

Nothing is exactly as you’d think it would be once Aurora goes to sleep. A mad witch queen who may or may not be evil, a whole kingdom hidden from the real world, and….a narwhal hunting expedition??

If I had to use one word to describe this book that made it stand out, it’d be IMAGINATIVE.

The romance (’cause of course that’s an important point to make)

Each princess seems to have a particular boy she sets her sights on. For Aurora, she meets a hunter named Heath who is very difficult to read. Here’s a princess who dreams of finding true love, and a jaded young man who doesn’t want to hope in anything more than the world they’re trapped in. Oh, and doesn’t believe in love. What kind of match would that be?

Unfortunately, the romance part on this couple doesn’t get too far, in my opinion. A potential love triangle pops up here with another girl who’s pining away for Heath, but I don’t honestly think she poses much of a threat (yet).

Then there’s Prince William and Isbe, who insistently calls her by her full name. William isn’t too cliched. He’s not extraordinarily brave or the kind of man you’d see “riding in on a white steed”. He’s supposed to be the answer to all of Isabelle’s problems: her vulnerable kingdom and the fact that Aurora is stuck in some perpetual sleep.

BUT, I always love a good forbidden love story. Their journey together to get to Aurora was one of the things that most delighted me. Things progressed a bit more with this couple, but unfortunately, I can totally see a love triangle looming in the distance with another guy who secretly feels things for Isbe (and whom she liked before William).

So Andge, would you say that this romance sets it up nicely for book 2?

Well, I dunno. I don’t like love triangles, and it doesn’t seem too serious at the moment (nothing happens between the other potential people) but I guess the only thing to do is to wait for the next book to come out….oh, in approximately A YEAR.

Hillyer’s prose

I have to remark on this before I conclude this review (I know, I’ve gone on for far too long already). You can clearly see the author’s poetry background. Small pieces of poetry actually pops in here and there. There’s a little lullaby both the girls know by heart and a very creepy scene where a crazy girl is talking in rhymes. So who says poetry doesn’t have its place in YA literature?

However, it’s also evident everywhere else you look! If you love metaphors strewn all over the place to demonstrate significant “character moments” and deep thoughts, then this is for you (or it may annoy you…I can see that happening too).

From Aurora learning to decide for herself and just GROW a backbone,

[Aurora] is not just swimming toward safety now but away from her former, meeker self. She can almost hear the wail of the old Aurora, weak and scared, carried downstream, far away.

to Isbe pondering on the concept of true love, one she never accepted as much as her sister did,

[Isbe] always thought romance was a cloudy concept, like the steam over a pot of boiling stew–it smells of hearty ingredients, it warms the senses…but ultimately it dissolves.

to grim thoughts.

“You know, I used to love looking at the stars at night. I used to think they were put there to guide us. Now I know they are just watching and winking, mute observed, bemused by our failures and our loss.”


Out of ALL else, this was what sold me on Spindle Fire. It wasn’t ever too over-the-top. The metaphors are strategically placed throughout, and some are more subtle than others. I do hope you enjoy the book when it comes out. I look forward to reading more from Lexa Hillyer.

Overall Recommendation:
Spindle Fire is an imaginative re-telling of Sleeping Beauty with a whole bunch of wild other stuff thrown in there as well. Lexa Hillyer’s prose is both beautiful and poignant, really describing the turmoils of the inner heart of both her main characters. Like a fairy tale, there is both action (fighting evil witches, of course!) and romance in it, but ultimately, this is a story about the love shared between two sisters. I think this story is worthwhile to check out, if at least just to read prose and descriptions.

Note: All quotes are subject to change when published

Review: The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine

Series: Ravenspire #2

the-wish-granter-cj-redwineAn epic, romantic, and action-packed fantasy inspired by the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, about a bastard princess who must take on an evil fae to save her brother’s soul, from C. J. Redwine, the New York Times bestselling author of The Shadow Queen. Perfect for fans of Graceling and the Lunar Chronicles.

The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of Súndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.

Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.

So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself.

But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.


3 Drink Me Potions


Thank you Edelweiss and HarperColins for this copy in exchange for an honest review

**The Wish Granter comes out February 14, 2017**

The premise of this story was a unique spin on a less common fairy tale that C.J. Redwine opted for, that being Rumpelstiltskin. Let me start off by saying that our protagonist, Ari, was a breath of fresh air. What do I mean by that?

Well, 1) she wasn’t a thin rod to start off with, where time and time again she was described as having “generous curves”. 2) She wasn’t a true princess by birth, but rather a bastard one. Like, how often do you have the main character as the bastard offspring? She and her brother Thad made the story more interesting with this angle of animosity against them by the kingdom they ended up leading. 3) She has this undying love for all things baked – pies, cakes, you name it. I dunno why this point had to be construed so many times to the reader, but I suppose it made Ari different too.

The choice of fairy tale was entertaining as it’s not as overdone as other ones, ahem *Snow White like in The Shadow Queen*. The Wish Granter and his (literally) bloody contracts threatened peace in the kingdom of Sundraille. After reading Redwine’s previous Ravenspire novel not so long ago, it was nice to get to know another kingdom in this world she had created. There was creativity put into spinning this tale in her own way, including Ari’s path of discovery to destroying The Wish Granter, Alistair Teague.

I enjoyed the tense emotions running seeing the ruthless underground network of Teague’s employees in the city of Kosim Thalas. I loved the excitement pumping when reading about the sneaky ways people were ensnared in Teague’s fine print contracts (because of course, I knew they’d be saved somehow – not a fairy tale for no reason). And I loved that there were guest appearances from other sources. For example, near the beginning of the book, some of you may be delighted to see the reference to Lorelai and her dragon prince. I sure was. But I almost fan-girled to see a badass version of Hansel and Gretel pop into the plot as well. I kinda wish there would be a separate story on these twins in the future. Maybe in the story for the fae kingdom of Llorenyae? *Here’s to hoping*.

So why doesn’t this have a higher rating?

Well, for starters, my heart just wasn’t into the romance. Gasp! I know, right? The romance is everything.

Here’s why. The chemistry between Ari and Sebastian was okay, at best. It didn’t light any fires in my heart. It didn’t make me rush through the pages in hopes that they’d get their happily ever after. No, I just felt…indifferent. I may have liked Ari’s fiery personality and quick thinking, but Sebastian felt too clichéd to me.

Now, don’t go hating on me but his broken family situation and physical abuse in childhood made him into a very quiet man with many issues to overcome. That’s to be expected. But sometimes reading from his POV, it just brought down any romantic mood. I liked him enough, I suppose, on his own. He tried to do his best by the princess he thought he didn’t deserve to be friends with, but he’s just a broken hero at the end of the day. Maybe in fairy tales a princess’ love can change a man and overcome any problem, but it just seemed to be a little clichéd. And I just didn’t feel true chemistry beyond falling for each other due to intense circumstances.

Although the plot of the story was unique, it also was a little predictable towards the end. The climax really picked up, but for the most part, it dragged. It took me a while to finish this book. Yes, I was busy, but if it was really exciting, I’d have set time to finish it no matter what. And the conclusion to the big question, how do you destroy the Wish Granter and his binding contracts?, just felt too simple. And predictable. And frankly confusing. I can’t give away any answers without ruining it, but honestly, her final plan in play (that related to the original tale) felt unnecessary in getting rid of Teague.

So I have good points and not-so-good points to make. At the end of the day, it was still an interesting enough read. Would I recommend it? Maybe not. Unless you really enjoyed book 1 in the Ravenspire series, The Wish Granter might just be a pleasant afternoon read that doesn’t quite stir your blood pressure.

Overall Recommendation:
The Wish Granter was a different take on the Rumpelstiltskin story with a leading character that had a fiery personality and might be more relatable to some readers. The story continues as a companion novel to the Ravenspire series by Redwine and it’s up to standard with her previous work. However, lack of true chemistry between the leads, slower pacing throughout and somewhat predictable ending after all that buildup left a bit of disappointment behind. I will probably only recommend it to those who loved The Shadow Queen and to those who aren’t expecting a grand spin on this fairy tale.

Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Series: The Falconer #1

the-falconer-elizabeth-mayOne girl’s nightmare is this girl’s faery tale

She’s a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

She’s a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she’s leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She’s a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She’s a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder—but she’ll have to save the world first.

The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller combines romance and action, steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read.


3 Drink Me Potions


I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long time and finally came around to it. To make put this short and sweet, The Falconer was like mixing the strong kickass heroine and bad guy fighting from The Dark Days Club and the world and allure of faeries in The Iron King series.

Aileana is everything you’d want in a fighter. Witnessing a horrific crime committed right in front of her eyes, the world of ballroom dancing and finding the perfect husband just wasn’t worth it anymore. In the span of a year, she transformed into monster hunter at night. She was brave, fearless and vengeful. The memories of her mother’s death haunted her. She epitomizes revenge. I thought sometimes the darkness inside of her drowned out a bit of the story. She had others who cared about her, or at least her best friend and later an old acquaintance. They could’ve made her whole if she chose to eliminate the darkness but she never quite manages to do so.

That’s not to say this story wasn’t fierce in its mix of beautiful olden day Scotland and the mysterious Kiaran. I’ve always had a soft spot for historical fantasies and The Falconer most definitely adds onto the list of books in this genre that was done right. There’s plenty of action and suspense as Aileana fights against the clock to prevent catastrophic doomsday from happening to her city of Edinburgh. With a touch of steampunk contraptions and inventions that Aileana uses to help her fight against her opponents, there seems to be a bit of something for most people. My rating mostly has to deal with the lack of romance progression with Kiaran and the slower pacing at times in the middle. I’m not saying the slow burn romance isn’t great, but it seems almost just an implied thing at times and that just drives me a little insane. But for the most part, this novel is exactly as I described it between those 2 series above, which basically means it’s pretty cool.

Oh, but darn that cliffhanger. Not a huge fan of such endings.

Overall Recommendation:
The Falconer gives a wonderful glimpse of historical Scotland while mixing it up with the dark beauty of the faerie and other such creatures. Aileana makes for a fierce protagonist with the fire of a fighter inside of her. Steeped with intrigue and excitement, her sole battle against the world of fae comes to a head in this first book of an interesting trilogy.

Review: Blythewood by Carol Goodman

Series: Blythewood #1

blythewood -carol goodmanWelcome to Blythewood.

At seventeen, Avaline Hall has already buried her mother, survived a horrific factory fire, and escaped from an insane asylum. Now she’s on her way to Blythewood Academy, the elite boarding school in New York’s mist-shrouded Hudson Valley that her mother attended—and was expelled from. Though she’s afraid her high society classmates won’t accept a factory girl in their midst, Ava is desperate to unravel her family’s murky past, discover the identity of the father she’s never known, and perhaps finally understand her mother’s abrupt suicide. She’s also on the hunt for the identity of the mysterious boy who rescued her from the fire. And she suspects the answers she seeks lie at Blythewood.

But nothing could have prepared her for the dark secret of what Blythewood is, and what its students are being trained to do. Haunted by dreams of a winged boy and pursued by visions of a sinister man who breathes smoke, Ava isn’t sure if she’s losing her mind or getting closer to the truth. And the more rigorously Ava digs into the past, the more dangerous her present becomes.

Vivid and atmospheric, full of mystery and magic, this romantic page-turner by bestselling author Carol Goodman tells the story of a world on the brink of change and the girl who is the catalyst for it all.


 

3.5 Drink Me Potions


Blythewood has elements that I thoroughly enjoyed. A mysterious boarding school with secrets behind its closed doors, fascinating creatures creeping out from the darkness, and whimsical characters that separate themselves from the norm of YA books.

The beginning was a little slow. Ava was still with her mother and working low-paying jobs in a factory at a time where women were trying to gain more attention and the right for votes. It took the story a while to get rolling into the juicy bits, but eventually through devastating acts of terror by a mysterious man wearing a long coat following her around, Ava moves to Blythewood. It’s not just any normal school, and once she passed the initial entry exam, it becomes evident that they teach more than just history and science here.

Blythewood is a school prepping students for battle against the darkness.

The story covers themes like what makes someone good and bad, the light and the dark. Is it what one was born as? Or can it be from the decisions and actions that they make? It was an interesting read, but it also wasn’t heart-poundingly urgent to finish. I took my slow, sweet time with it (and not because I was reading this as my on-vacation book).

One thing that I normally hate is a love triangle, but with Blythewood, I was okay with it. It was barely even there, but it took a long time for our favourite “angel” bad boy, Raven, to be introduced to Ava. So there was normal, human Nathan waiting on the sidelines for a potential love interest, but it’s not like anything really happened. There were just hints that there was interest there.

Then again, it’s not like anything in the romance department really occurred during the book, even with Raven. It was slow and not quite insta-love, although she was definitely intrigued by him. Well, hello, I’m sure anyone would be intrigued by some winged boy who saves you time and again. It doesn’t help that he always comes around without a shirt on either.

As for the total story, the romance wasn’t even the biggest part, for which I’m glad. The background and history into which Blythewood was founded on, and the mission that these girls set out to achieve was imaginative and draws you in.

And at the heart of it, there was always the question as to who that strange man was that showed up around Ava, bringing chaos and fear. I do believe Blythewood is a lovely story that somehow slipped past the majority of YA readers. With intrigue, great bounds of imagination and ties into its historical period, this is one book that kept me reading even though there were plenty of other fun things I could’ve been doing while on vacation.

Overall Recommendation:
Blythewood is one of those stories that you wonder why it never blew up into something huge. It contains everything that I enjoy. The mystery of Ava’s mother’s death and the strange man following her around. A boarding school full of secrets that centre around fantastical creatures set out to destroy humankind. And, of course, fun characters and a hint of romance that didn’t make me wanna roll my eyes and skip the pages. What more could anyone ask for? Goodman’s first book in this trilogy is a promising start to crazier antics and more secrets to unfold as we follow Ava into the heart of darkness.

Review: The Faerie Queen by Kiki Hamilton

Series: The Faerie Ring #4

the faerie queen -kiki hamiltonThe Winter King has ordered Tiki’s death and hunts her in both the Otherworld and London. War looms ever closer and the mysterious Four Treasures of Faerie seem to offer the Seelie Court their only hope of stopping Donegal from claiming all of Faerie. The ever-enigmatic Larkin issues a threat regarding Clara that forces Tiki to choose between a child and a kingdom….

A ruthless opponent, a powerful treasure, an unforgettable decision…


4 Drink Me Potions


Oh boy, what a conclusion!

If you have read any of my other comments of the previous books in the Faerie Ring series, I have always mentioned that Kiki Hamilton is a master storyteller. She weaves in so many layers, particularly in the plotline (even the tiniest event of a previous book could have a significant meaning later), but also in her characters!

First, I have to say, Larkin is the most amazing and complex character I have read yet. She always seemed like a villain, or at least an antagonistic force when it comes to Tiki. Yet it’s been so hard to decipher what her ulterior motives are or what other random information she’s been hiding from everyone else. One moment, she seems to be acting like a guiding counsel for Tiki as she learns more about the world of the fey, and the next moment, she’s the most arrogant woman ever and seemingly aiming to claim the throne for herself. Which side should we believe? And that’s the beauty of it. She has that many layers to her.

Then comes the complexity of the plot. Thrown into the end of the The Seven Year King, she goes and says what? Clara’s her child. But wait! Other crazy relations are also revealed at Dain and Rieker’s heritage (yet again). And here I thought that it was crazy enough that Rieker even had family left. There’s more?

With this being the final book in the series, somehow, Hamilton was able to weave everything together and tie all loose ends into one happy conclusion. Yes, a happy ending, folks. Of course, some of the epic things that went down were kind of predictable, but it was still great to see how the new plot twists fit into it all.

Amidst all these crazy revelations, there’s a war to be prepped for and a treasure hunt for the last of the Four Treasures of the faeries. It seems only Tiki can find it and unite the courts of Faerie as that is her destiny. I think the ending fit well with what her character would do. She really has grown over the course of this book and possibly the previous one. Hard to imagine that the series spans only about 1.5 years or so in their lives.

Anyway, cutting this review short ’cause I could gush on and on about it some more. The Faerie Queen is an example of how an epic conclusion to a fantasy story should end. With action, suspense and tying in the crazy plotlines, Hamilton more than delivers all these elements and more. And if you’re a lover of any ancient locations (particularly those that we can actually visit) associated with the fey, London and parts of Scotland are mentioned throughout the novel. It makes me want to go there now…

Overall Recommendation:
The Faerie Queen was the epic conclusion to an ultimately heart-stopping historical fantasy series. Further plot twists (who knew there could possibly be more room for those?) all tie in nicely together for an unpredictable, yet happy, ending for Tiki and her friends. It’s like a fairy tale but with more action and character development! And who wouldn’t like a fairy tale, hmm? I recommend this series, and particularly this book, to anyone who loves adventure, fantasy, factual history and romance. It won’t disappoint, trust me. This book deserves all the praise it can get.

Review: The Seven Year King by Kiki Hamilton

Series: The Faerie Ring #3

It is the seventh year—the time when the UnSeelie Court must pay a tithe to Seelie royalty to remain a separate entity. Sacrificed at midnight on Samhain, the UnSeelies call their offering the Seven Year King. This time, Donegal plans to sacrifice someone Tiki loves. To make matters worse, Fiona disappears, Johnny lies near death, and the threat of the liche comes closer. Tiki’s only hope is that she and Rieker can find an ancient faerie treasure and outsmart the Winter King before the turning of the seasons. In this third book of The Faerie Ring series, Tiki is pulled between two worlds—and unable to find peace in either.

A deadly sacrifice, a heartbreaking choice, an uncertain future…


4 Drink Me Potions


It still constantly amazes me how well Hamilton was able to immerse the land of mythical fey with 19th century London.

In this 3rd installment of the Faerie Ring series, we get to see more of the Otherworld as Tiki spends more time there, having accepted her role in leading the Seelie Court. The novel starts off with a bang as 1) Dain has been captured at the end of The Torn Wing and possibly going to be sacrificed on Samhain, and 2) Johnny has been captured by the liche, aka hideous monster that’s been doing the Winter King’s bidding.

Torn between keeping her family safe in London and saving those who need her in the Otherworld, I was glad to see that this book really picked up the pace where The Torn Wing was a little lacking. Without ruining too much, basically some action starts happening as the liche continues to hunt down Tiki and her family, in particular Fiona.

And as always, Hamilton is the best at incorporating tidbits of new information and introducing new characters. This time, we get to see the amazing (and sometimes horrifying) creatures of the fey. From tree dryads (who are really witches!) to ugly hobgoblins and their distant relatives the Redcaps, crazy things continue to happen as Tiki embarks to rescue Dain.

I smell a love triangle with Dain, but for those who don’t love them, rest assured, I don’t think Hamilton made those hints of feelings into anything more, at least on Tiki’s side of things. Her heart is safely with Rieker (as it well should be). Oh and finally! Some seriously hot romantic action goes on here with our favourite pickpocket-slash-handsome-lord.

The one thing I felt a little off with this story was Johnny and Fiona’s romantic chemistry. I honestly didn’t feel like they knew each other well enough before suddenly, they were “in love” or something like it from the way Fiona freaked out about Johnny’s capture. But anyway, this book really won’t disappoint with suspense OR romance. The land of the fey and the gorgeous old city of London ever continues to amaze me in The Seven Year King. Not to mention, a few more real life facts/artifacts thrown into the story!

Overall Recommendation:
The Seven Year King was a truly enjoyable read. Hamilton is a master story-weaver as she immerses us into both the land of the fey and 19th century London this time. With two friends’ lives hanging in the balance, Tiki and her companions are on a timeline to save them. Not to mention there is still a horrible monster hunting them down for the Winter King. This surely sets the foundation for the ultimate conclusion to the series. Please, do yourself a favour and read it. Romance? History? Fantasy? Suspense/action? No other story blends these elements as well as this does.

Review: The Torn Wing by Kiki Hamilton

Series: The Faerie Ring #2

the torn wing -kiki hamiltonLondon 1872 –

A bloody escape, a deadly threat, a shocking revelation…

As an orphan who stole the Queen’s ring – only to find the ring was a reservoir that held a truce between the world of Faerie and the British Court – Tiki’s greatest fear suddenly becomes all too real: the fey have returned to London seeking revenge. As war escalates in the Otherworld, Queen Victoria’s youngest son, Prince Leopold, is attacked. In order to protect her family and those she loves, Tiki needs to know the meaning of an fáinne sí, the birthmark that winds around her wrist. But will she be brave enough to face the truth?


3 Drink Me Potions


Hmm, where should I start? The Torn Wing continues the story of Tiki and her band of misfit orphans, now living with the ever-handsome Rieker, aka Lord William Richmond.

I’ve always loved the historical setting of 19th century London. To mash it with the land of the fey is just perfect. Two worlds, both uniquely beautiful in their own way, with a deep mystery at the heart of it all.

Right from the prologue, there is a stirring for war as the UnSeelie Court threatened to take over both the thrones of the Seelie Court and of London’s from Queen Victoria. The mystery surrounding Tiki’s involvement with the fairies is further developed, although her initial denial of any such involvement deeply annoyed me.

The characters were sweet and intensely themselves. By that I mean, Hamilton writes in a way that makes each character something special and uniquely their own. Tiki’s family of orphans are all so different, not just because of their age. They are young, but their eyes have seen the horrors of living on the streets. They’ve developed street smarts, they’re loyal and caring for others less fortunate, yet they still maintain a sense of innocence. It’s hard to describe, but even when you want to shake them for being stubborn or doing little petty things, these are trademarks for what makes them such great characters. They come alive, doing things as little children or young orphans do.

With such great secondary characters, of course the protagonists were also enjoyable to read. Tiki may be hugely stubborn, but her heart holds enough love for anyone. Rieker always remains an enjoyable love interest, and I was a little saddened to see that Hamilton didn’t further develop him in any way in this book at least. Besides being a love interest, he’s different from any other main male characters in the YA genre these days. He also lives a double life, as a pickpocket and a lord, but there’s so much more to him. He’s just not predictable, which makes him more exciting.

The plot wasn’t as intense, although the book started off with a chaotic event. The main thing Tiki and her gang were involved in was finding the Stone of Tara, which would roar for any true queen/king of Faerie. Besides that, it didn’t really pick up too much. Mostly, Tiki was learning to accept what she may be, and Rieker was dealing with…an old frenemy.

Larkin. I don’t know what to make of her. From The Faerie Ring, I thought I knew what to feel for her, but she isn’t a straight-cut villain. There are so many layers to her, and I’m still figuring her out as I’m writing this.

Hamilton is good with the twists and turns. As new characters come into the story, new pieces of information keep falling out that continually surprises me. My goodness, talk about unpredictability. It’s rather exciting!

Lastly, I have to say, not everyone loves historical novels. I myself sometimes do find it a tad tiresome as it’s set in a society that may not be as exciting or fun as modern or even post-apocalyptic societies may be. However, to mesh olden day London and its real life history (i.e. Queen Victoria and her sons), with similarly “true” legends of the fey there, it’s absolutely fascinating . I love the author’s note explaining real life places where Tiki and her friends have gone to in the novel, and teaching the readers how to pronounce some of the Gaelic words that are used. It makes everything more real and solid, knowing Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace are real places I could visit if I wanted to.

It takes talent to creatively piece actual facts with an imaginative world of faerie lore, and to do it with such elegance and air of magic. For that, even though the pacing wasn’t all too amazing in this one, The Torn Wing has reminded me of what storytelling should be like these days. It is DEFINITELY a read that needs to be in your collection of “read books”.

Overall Recommendation:
I may be biased, but I absolutely love the setting in which this series takes place in. Imagine 19th century London with a hidden veil of the Otherworld of the fey at certain locations. And these places take into account real life locations in London, like King’s Cross Station or Hyde Park.

Cemented into this glorious setting, a dark adventure unfolds as Tiki is drawn farther into the dealings of the fey, with an old enemy coming back to warn her and the gang of an impending war. Wrought with well-developed characters from The Faerie Ring and new ones appearing, Hamilton delivers unpredictable plot twists and surprising developments as some answers are given of Tiki and Rieker’s involvement with the faeries.