I’m in a bit of a fae phase at the moment and I’ve got two mini book reviews to share with all of you.
The Wicked King by Holly Black
Published by Little, Brown and Company on January 8, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 322 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased
You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.
The first lesson is to make yourself that strong.
Jude has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were biddable. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a faerie world.
My entire review for The Wicked King could be summed up with one never ending scream but I think a little more detail might be in order. Holly Black is a master of the fae, just as tricksy and ruthless as they are; lulling us into a false sense of security and then ripping it all away. Jude is so hardcore but all of her fears make for a much more compelling story. Cardan though is such a difficult character with so many sides to him, but his arc in this one is a thing to behold. Honestly all the plotting and politics just blew me away and it builds off the first book in the best way possible. If you’re not reading this series please start immediately and suffer like the rest of us!
The Falconer by Elizabeth May
Published by Chronicle Books on May 6, 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Steampunk, Historical
Pages: 378 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased
One 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.
Why haven’t more people read this? Honestly I wish I’d picked up The Falconer long ago since it was such a compelling and compulsive read. A historical steampunk Scotland sets the stage for an atmospheric story of slaying fae. Aileana was such an intriguing character; driven by rage and vengeance with a softer side for those she cares for. She’s also suffering from PTSD which is shown well. The fae in this one were fascinating and just as bloodthirsty as you’d think. Kiaran was obviously a bit of a mystery and Derrick the pixie was such a joy. Plus that cliffhanger ending left me reeling! I absolutely recommend this one and cannot wait to read the rest of the series.
Have you read either of these books? Enjoy fae stories?
Let me know in the comments below!