Tag Archives: Fae

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Overview
The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black

Title: The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Series: The Folk of the Air #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Fantasy, Paranormal fantasy, Young adult
Dates read: 3rd – 9th November 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: My blood is on fire, boiling in my veins.

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Synopsis

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

One terrible morning, Jude and her sisters see their parents murdered. The fearsome assassin abducts all three girls to the Faerie court, where Jude soon realises that to survive she needs to be as cunning and deceitful as the Fey themselves. But the stairway to power is fraught with shadows and betrayal. And looming over all is the arrogant and charismatic Prince Cardan.

Thoughts

I seriously can’t stop thinking about this novel. Even though I’m writing this review days after I finished reading it, the words, the occurrences, the entire story is still in my mind’s eye. It was just amazing. Which really isn’t surprising since it was written by Holly Black and everything that I’ve had the pleasure of reading by her is a book that quickly finds its way to the top of my list.

The twist at the end of the story was only obvious about a paragraph before it happened. So, really not obvious or something that I guessed at all. And it was the best twist ever. Luckily, I couldn’t find The Wicked King in my TBR immediately after I finished The Cruel Prince… considering I have a massive stack of books that I’ve already started reading…

Jude is an awesome, completely kick ass lead character. I’m not necessarily in love with her as a person… she’s a little too confrontational and kind of nuts in my opinion. But as a product of being raised by the fae? Yeah, I absolutely loved her. It kind of makes me fear what Taryn will be like in the later books… I mean, they’re twins and whilst they’ve taken a different route to power… it’ll be interesting to see what happens next is the least that I can say.

I’ve only read the one series by Holly Black, and the thing that I loved the most about it was that she depicts the fae beautifully. She continues that vein in this story – the fae aren’t fun, happy, or light. This already feels so much darker than her Modern Faerie Tales series. But it’s still a great indication of the horrors that are in the traditional faerie tales….

<- More Holly BlackThe Lost Sisters ->

Image source: Goodreads

Full-Scale Demolition by Suzanne McLeod

Overview
Image result for home improvement undead edition book cover

Title: Full-Scale Demolition
Author: Suzanne McLeod
In: Home Improvement (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 19th October 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: After much manoeuvring I balanced the bundled drop cloth on the backs of my thighs, tucking an end into my waistband, and started crawling down headfirst.

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Synopsis

She can’t cast, but she can catch Pixies… really well. So when a routine Pixie collecting job goes seriously hay-wire, it might just be up to her unique abilities to stop this full-scale demolition.

Thoughts

I jot down notes when I’m reading, so that it’s easier to write reviews when I’m done. And the first point I wrote for this story… :

  • Ooooooh. I liked this story.

It’s a pretty good summing up of my feelings really. This was fun and entertaining and I was really, really hoping that it was part of a series (it’s not, but I’m going to imagine it in my mind’s eye anyway…)

This short story combined pixies, sidhe, lamia and kelpies. All paranormal creatures that I have loved in previous stories, so, of course, I was drawn in completely. Plus, any story that starts with pixies is generally going to be fun… they’re such an interesting and insane paranormal pest.

I loved that in the end, this story was saved by pixie dust. Pixie dust saves the day and is what ultimately is the source of power in this fun and incredibly cute short story.

<- Rick the BraveIt’s All in the Rendering ->

Image source: Hachette Australia

Through This House by Seanan McGuire

Overview
Image result for home improvement undead edition book cover

Title: Through This House
Author: Seanan McGuire
Series: October Daye #4.5
In: Home Improvement (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 30th August 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: It liked them.

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Synopsis

It’s hard enough doing home improvements. But attempting home improvements on a sentient house that doesn’t really want you… that’s a whole other level of difficulty.

Thoughts

I’ve read a few books in which there is the subject of fae property. It’s always fluid and responsive. But this is the first time I’ve read a story of any kind in which someone has to try and reclaim the fae property. And, in this circumstance, the fae property is not overly happy with being claimed. Leading to one hell of a home improvement job and moving in day…

I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting October Daye in my reading of novels (this shall soon be rectified). And so I really enjoyed not only her characterisation, but also all of her many sidekicks. I loved this odd bod bunch that just want to find a home that can keep them safe… it was quirky and a little zaney. Humorous and just generally thoroughly enjoyable.

I absolutely adored this short story. It was funny and cute. Filled with great drama and world building. And now I just can’t wait to sink my teeth into this series…

<- Woolsley’s Kitchen NightmareThe Path ->

Image source: Hachette Australia

Omens by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
Omens: Book 1 of the Cainsville Series: Armstrong, Kelley: Amazon ...

Title: Omens
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Cainsville #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 24th May – 26th June 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: sphere
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: The kind I’d only ever seen on TV, usually where the bad guys holed up until the cops came busting through the door.

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Synopsis

A LIFE SHATTERED IN ONE MOMENT.

On the eve of her wedding Olivia Jones discovers two shocking facts. One – she was adopted. Two – her biological parents are notorious serial killers.

A YOUNG WOMAN FORCED ON THE RUN.

With her life in immediate danger, Liv is thrown into a terrifying new world. But then she is confronted with a tantalising hope – is it possible her parents are innocent?

AND THE MYSTERIOUS TOWN THAT AVE HER SANCTUARY. AT A PRICE.

Arriving at the remote town of Cainsville, Liv believes she has found the perfect place to hide while she hunts for the truth. But Cainsville is no ordinary town – and Liv’s arrival was no accident…

Thoughts

So, there’s definitely a reason why I love Kelley Armstrong – Author. I’ve been putting off starting a new series by her because I tend to get sucked into her world, and then I’ll want to buy more and more books… but, I decided that I had to read Omens. I’ve read all the prequel short stories and really, really wanted to start on this series. It may have been a mistake… I now want to go out and buy the rest of the books in this series… and I really don’t have the money for that at the moment.

You really don’t need to read any of the prequel short stories to fall madly, stupidly in love with this novel. In some ways, it may even be a little better… you won’t know so much about the gargoyles, Gabriel and that slightly paranormal hint throughout the story. Although, if you’re like me and you want as much information as feasibly possible…. It’s well worth reading the short stories before this. It meant that I had some extra mysteries that I was just constantly guessing at. And some extra historical moments that helped to fill in some of the blanks…

I absolutely loved how Armstrong managed to layer the paranormal, omens on top of a very realistic storyline. It takes a long time to see how the paranormal starts to come into play. After reading her Women of the Otherworld series, it is really fun to see a more subtle and covert approach to the paranormal, and the way it is placed into a very realistic feeling setting. You can almost imagine that a town like Townsville exists and the power to read omens is strong and alive. I can’t wait to see how this “power” develops and the supernatural that is heavily hinted at throughout this novel develops as the series unravels.

There are many, many, amazing things going on in this novel. But one of the aspects that I enjoyed the most was that it definitely bought up the whole nature / nurture debate. That it highlighted the mixed and confused feelings that Olivia felt as she realised that part of her was created by two individuals she has never met. A good portion of this storyline is taken up with Olivia’s own internal battle, trying to figure out how to feel.

<- The Orange CatVisions ->

Image source: Amazon

The Orange Cat by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
Image result for portents book cover

Title: The Orange Cat
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Cainsville #0.7
In: Portents (Kelley Armstrong)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 27th May 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Kelley Armstrong
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: Gabriel put the pet carrier on the table.

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Synopsis

Gabriel is beginning to make his way in the world of criminal defense. But this latest case, featuring the orange cat is just a little bit unique… Cainsville kind of unique.

Thoughts

I like this short story that revisited Gabriel as an adult. You find out so much about his childhood in previous short stories, but, considering I’m convinced he’ll be an adult in Omens, I liked that there was a little bit more about him as he’s making his first forays into the adult world. The fact that it was done in a quite funny manner, with a bit of a sadistic twist… well, of course I enjoyed that all the more.

In all of the Cainsville short stories that I’ve read so far, one of the common re occurrences is karma, paying your debts, etc. The fact that this story uses an orange cat that just won’t stay away, can’t be killed and is pretty damn single-minded was quite intriguing and somewhat clever. It kept with the theme that I have found so far, but managed to make it a lot funnier – after all, who would have thought that a cat could cause that much damage?

The more short stories I read in this series, the more keen I am to start reading Omens. And, luckily, this is the last short story that stakes place before the activities in Omens, so now I get to read that novel to my heart’s content…

<- Bad PublicityOmens ->

Image source: Amazon

Bad Publicity by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
Image result for portents book cover

Title: Bad Publicity
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Cainsville #0.6
In: Portents (Kelley Armstrong)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 25th May 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Kelley Armstrong
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: Making contact.

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Synopsis

Patrick has never wanted to do much publicity. But, when his new publicists manages to outmanoeuvre him, he decides to go along with her schemes. Until he realises that they may just not be her schemes…

Thoughts

It was nice to revisit Patrick and his shenanigans after reading Devil May Care. Particularly when you know that he is integral to this whole idea of a future that could impact all of the fae camps and the world as they know it. It highlights the reason why he’s obviously stayed away from Gabriel up until this point, and the ways in which the fae are already moving about in this world…

There may be no such thing as bad publicity, but there is such thing as a bad publicity experience. Particularly when the poor individual who organised it all ends up being just a bit of a pleb. One that is pushy. And driven. But still just ends up being a pawn in a greater battle. I like that even though Patrick is annoyed at the fact that she’s the instigator, he still honours her gumption and drive. It was a nice way to end this short story.

Bad Publicity is a little light and humorous. But it is also a great reminder of the more traditional role that the fae seem to be able to play in the Cainsville series… that of tricksters, predators and the slightly envious. Beings which always pay their dues and find a way to get their own. Regardless of the consequences to others.

<- Gabriel’s GargoylesThe Orange Cat ->

Image source: Amazon

Gabriel’s Gargoyles by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
Image result for portents book cover

Title: Gabriel’s Gargoyles
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Cainsville #0.5
In: Portents (Kelley Armstrong)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 24th May 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Short story
Publisher: Kelley Armstrong
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: The man grinned.

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Synopsis

Gabriel loves his visits back to Cainsville every holiday. And this one is going to be extra special – he’s finally going to find that final gargoyle!

Thoughts

There are few books I’ve read that feature gargoyles. And, honestly, whenever I do read any mention of them, I think of the gargoyles from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Because you know, they’re some of my favourite Disney sidekicks. The gargoyles in this story though really aren’t as funny and fun as the ones in Disney.

I read this short story straight off the back of Devil May Care. Which was excellent timing. After all, Gabriel’s beginnings are a little dark and you seriously hope that he gets a bit of a happily ever after. This doesn’t actually provide that in the slightest. But it does show the strength and gumption that the young boy has. It also has a great hint of the secrets of Cainsville throughout.

Finding gargoyles that constantly move in a town enmeshed in secrets sounds like exactly the kind of thing that I would have loved as a child. It made me wish that this town, which feels fairly dark actually exists. The fact that Gabriel is already a young boy on his own hints at the kind of man he is going to become. And I for one, can’t wait to meet him in Omens.

<- Devil May CareBad Publicity ->

Image source: Amazon

Devil May Care by Kelley Armstrong

Overview
Image result for portents book cover

Title: Devil May Care
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Cainsville #0.3
In: Portents (Kelley Armstrong)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 22nd May 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Kelley Armstrong
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘All the gargoyles and the old people.

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Synopsis

Patrick has always enjoyed being footloose and uncaring about the responsibilities he should have. But a mysterious fae has sent him running back to Cainsville. And no matter how hard he fights, the future is going to have it’s own way.

Thoughts

When I first bought Omens, I didn’t realise that there was a fae aspect to the storyline. Or at least, not one that is very strong. I just loved past works by Kelley Armstrong, so figured that I would get some more of her books. And then I realised that there was a whole slew of short stories that take place before Omens. So I figured I had better read those too. And, honestly, it wasn’t until this short story that I understood how much of an impact the fae were going to have on this story.

I loved the introduction of Patrick in this story. He is everything that I imagine when I think of a puckish, trickster-like fae. He keeps a balance and makes sure that he repays all of his debts. He pursues his own interests and pleasure, regardless of what other people think or want to know about his life. And he DOES NOT want any responsibility – so the fact that he is embroiled in a pretty major prophecy, one that is filled with responsibility… it’s pretty damn good.

There was something that was surprisingly fun about this dark little origins story. And it is the very epitome of origins stories – the story of how a character I’m going to assume will be very important is bought into the world. And the horrible characters which will be a huge part of their lives…

<- Nos Galan GaeafGabriel’s Gargoyles ->

Image source: Amazon

O For a Fiery Gloom and Thee by Brian Stableford

Overview
Image result for sirens and other daemon lovers book cover

Title: O for a Fiery Gloom and Thee
Author: Brian Stableford
In: Sirens and Other Daemon Lovers (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fae
Dates read: 30th April 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: EOS
Year: 1998
5th sentence, 74th page: Like the rough-hewn roads of myth and history, the many roads of England were not at this time wont to run straight.

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Synopsis

A classic styled tale of the fae and the passions that are ignited.

Thoughts

There was something completely beautiful and stunning about the language used in this story. It had that great lyrical value that doesn’t often show it’s face in contemporary writing. The story felt somewhat familiar, as it would to anyone who has an obsession with tales of the fae. I loved that this felt both familiar and new as the gorgeous lyricism of the story evolved.

One of the things that come up again and again for me in tales of the fae is that theirs is a passion that I don’t quite understand. Which is beautifully illustrated in this short story. Not only does it highlight that they are untenable. But also subject to their own whims and desires…

I look forward to rereading this story in the future – there is something beautifully lyrical about it that just screams to be read again. The style of the prose is of the sort that I know I will read this again and again in a journey of constant self-discovery.

<- The Eye of the StormThe Light That Passes Through You ->

Image source: Goodreads

Ogre by Michael Kandel

Overview
Image result for black thorn white rose book cover

Title: Ogre
Author: Michael Kandel
In: Black Thorn, White Rose (Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Fantasy
Dates read: 25th March 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Prime Books
Year: 1994
5th sentence, 74th page: At least he had no problem carrying.

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Synopsis

All he wants is to put on an amazing play. But, with a series of blunders, an inept crew and a few others out to get him… things aren’t quite going as planned.

Thoughts

You know that a story is going to be kind of funny and really interesting when it starts out with someone telling another character to stop eating human flesh. Because it gives him bad breath. And that he can’t have that when acting. It’s a pretty interesting and funny start to a story. One that I was giggling about from the very beginning of this very short story.

I’ve never really had an inclination to do any form of acting. Just not my thing I suppose. But I do love the fodder that it provides for story telling. And the fact that this was shifted to include what I can only assume is a paranormal / fae cast (one of which I hope is an ogre) just made it all the more fun. And incredibly funny.

This is a seriously short story (only about 5 or 6 pages). But it’s just enough to make me enjoy Kandel’s writing and wonder at what else he has written. That, and just enjoy the journey that I got to go on with this writing in the first place. It is enjoyable, fun and totally unique. Definitely a short story that I won’t mind reading again.

<- Near-BeautyCan’t Catch Me ->

Image source: Goodreads