Blurb from Amazon:
For seventeen years, Eloise Hart had no idea the world of Faery even existed. Now she has been abducted and trapped in the Rath of Lord Strahan, King of Faery. Strahan was only meant to rule for seven years, as Faery tradition dictates, and then give up his crown to another. But he won’t comply, and now chaos threatens both worlds.
The only one who can break his stranglehold on the Faery court is his wife, Eloise’s aunt, Antonia. Using Eloise to lure Antonia, Strahan captures his wife, desperate to end the only threat to his reign. Together with her best friends Jo and Devin, Eloise must place her trust in Lucas, her handsome protector, and Strahan’s mysterious son, Eldric, and forge alliances with other Fae in a dangerous attempt to free Antonia for ever.
So unfortunately, the blurb from Amazon tells you pretty much the whole plot of the book, and pretty much all the main characters. (*Weary sigh.*) What it DOESN’T tell you is how AWESOME this book is- so awesome I was genuinely GUTTED that there wasn’t a sequel. (It would have been so good as part of a series! Why, Alyxandra Harvey, WHY??) The descriptions are great, the plot is mostly pacey and energetic, the characters are genuine, realistic, and brilliantly fleshed out- from rockabilly Eloise, with her wild hair and free nature, to Jo, with her love of long skirts, folklore and the Mediaeval Baebes (who I also love, by the way) to endearing, funny Devin.
Even the ‘magical’ characters have you rooting for them, including (SPOILER) a trapped, enslaved mermaid, a teeny-tiny warrior fairy and the beguiling, secretive Eldric. (SPOILER) Antonia herself is also kind of badass, facing off against Strahan and his schemes with a cool, collected calmness. There was also a few twists that even I didn’t see coming, an I am a connoisseur of all things fairy-related.(No-one can best me on my love for fairy artist Brian Froud. NO ONE.)
However, I did think that (SPOILER) the romance between some of the characters felt forced and unbelievable, as in, hmm… they’re pledging themselves to one another, when they’ve only known eachother for a few days? Someone falls for someone when they don’t even known their NAME? REALLY? And also at times the plot dragged a little. Strahan as well didn’t seem quite as sinister as he could have been. I found myself, at times, wishing for a little more edginess, a little more grittiness. All in all though, I really enjoyed this book, and would happily award it 10 out of 10.
Overall rating: 10 out of 10
NB: All images are via Tumblr