Timy reviews The King of Faerie, the 4th book in A.J. Lancaster‘s Romantic Fantasy series, Stariel.
This review was written as part of the Wyrd & Wonder Month hosted by amazing ladies, check out all the content on Twitter!
|Date of Publishing:||July 24, 2021|
|Trigger Warnings:||Manipulation, childhood trauma, mentioned suicide|
Possible The Sound of Madness Reading Challenge prompts:
- Free Your Mind
- Are You Gonna Be My Girl
- I’m Still Here
- Mindenütt Jó (Everywhere is Good)
- Have a Little Faith
- Family Portrait
- Vészhelyzet (Emergency)
- I’ll Be There
- Heavy is the Crown
The fae are real, and Hetta Valstar is trying her best to marry one.
If Hetta and Wyn ever manage to marry, it will be the first union between Faerie and Mortal since the Iron Law was revoked. The mortal Queen has given them her blessing—sort of. Now, Wyn needs permission from the fae High King. There’s an intensely personal reason why they need to tie the knot as soon as possible, and time is not on their side.
The clock is ticking. Except in Wyn’s home court, which is trapped under magical stasis. To break the spell will mean venturing into the deepest realms of Faerie, where even fae princes—and definitely human lords—fear to tread.
Unfortunately, the fae problems aren’t limited to Faerie.
Public tension is rising, and the reveal of Wyn’s true identity makes him and Hetta the centre of the storm. On top of this, Stariel’s magic is going haywire, and Hetta is struggling with her intensifying powers—and she might not be the only one affected.
The High King might be the only one who can help, since he’s responsible for the fae returning to the Mortal Realm in the first place.
If only they knew where he was.
“I actually know quite a lot about hating your own nature and the futility of thinking you can change it.”
That drew Wyn up short.
“That is different. There’s nothing wrong with you, Marius, nothing that should be changed.”
“And why should that apply to me and not to you?”
For The King of Faerie, the 4th book in the Stariel series, I will finally pick the Jess Glynne song I’ve been wanting to pick for all the other books. And that’s I’ll Be There.
My Stariel binge reading sadly had come to an end. Kind of. It’s been a while since I got to read a whole series within a couple of months, and it sure was an emotional ride. I’m sad it’s over, but at the same time, I’m happy to know how Wyn and Hetta’s story ends.
This is probably going to be a super short review (and a bit spoilery too so be warned!), compared, because it’s hard to say anything new (without big spoilers). In The King of Faerie Wyn and Hetta face their biggest challenge yet. They need to find the High King, but they are running out of time (tell us something new, amirite). And if that wasn’t enough, emotions run high in Mortal now that Fae are back again, while Thousand Spires still needs a ruler. And Hetta is still unsure about her connection to Stariel. So, there is a lot to figure out yet. And oh so little time.
In The King of Faerie, we finally get a better look at Faerie, at least some parts of it. Not just a fleeting visit. I enjoyed reading about Deeper Faerie for sure, especially the parts about the High King’s Library. That was fun. Probably not for Wyn, Hetta, and Irokoi, but you know *waves hand*. And I definitely wouldn’t say no to a whole book set in Dusken Rose.
It was also fun to learn about a bit of Valstar history and how it all tied together. I just wish this particular plotline came into play much sooner, because it had so much potential! Yes, I’m being vague, because I don’t want to spoil anything.
But my absolute favorite part of this book was the chapters with Rakken and Marius. The banter between them was hilarious, and if Lancaster didn’t already write Rake of His Own, I would be in her emails DEMANDING more of these two (politely, I’m not a stalker, seesh). I just can’t wait to read a book focusing on them without their relatives intruding. Or who knows, they might… They all tend to be nosy.
Since the Stariel series has a quite big cast of characters, sadly not all of them got nearly enough spotlight, or an arc within the story, which is a pity. Also, while all the plotlines get a closure one way or another, I wasn’t entirely satisfied with all of them, some were even predictable I might say, but overall I didn’t leave disappointed.
The King of Faerie was an absolute delight to read as was the whole Stariel series. I never thought these characters would grow on me so much, nor that my favorite character in the whole series will end up being Marius, but here we are. I absolutely can’t wait to put my hands on the sequel novel of his own. Or any book Lancaster might publish in the future.
Thank you, A.J. Lancaster for giving me Stariel first to fill up a Downton Abbey-sized hole in my heart, and then to become something much more than a substitute. An escape, an adventure, a lesson in how every act has a consequence and that you always have to listen to your heart, even if it seems to be leading you astray. Happiness is worth fighting for. And acceptance is something more people should practice.
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