About this book:
Awakening the handsome prince is supposed to end the fairy tale, not begin it. But the Highvalley witches have rarely done things the way they’re supposed to. On the north Pacific island of Eidolonia, hidden from the world by enchantments, Prince Larkin has lain in a magical sleep since 1799 as one side of a truce between humans and fae. That is, until Merrick Highvalley, a modern-day witch, discovers an old box of magic charms and cryptic notes hidden inside a garden statue.
Experimenting with the charms, Merrick finds himself inside the bower where Larkin lies, and accidentally awakens him. Worse still, releasing Larkin from the spell also releases Ula Kana, a faery bent on eradicating humans from the island. With the truce collapsing and hostilities escalating throughout the country, Merrick and Larkin form an unlikely alliance and become even unlikelier heroes as they flee into the perilous fae realm on a quest to stop Ula Kana and restore harmony to their island.
Release Date: 5th January, 2021.
What I think?
First and foremost, I honestly can’t believe that the last review I posted on the blog was in 2019, which also oddly sounds fitting, because 2020 was a black hole, but secondly, HELLO! DID YOU MISS ME? IS ANYBODY THERE? Please let me know someone is still here on the blog o(TヘTo)
But onto the story, because we all know that’s what you bastards are really here for.
Warning: There is as always, an incredible amount of spoilers ahead, because, to the new ones here, I am less of a reviewer and more of a ranter, so.
Straight upfront, I have to say that I’m a tad bit underwhelmed by this book, and I won’t lie, I find that I am rather disappointed by that, because the publisher had personally emailed me, and told me Ringle was her favorite author, and her works are awesome, and me being me, thought “Yay! the publisher loves the author, so the author is a definite gem then!╰(▔∀▔)╯”
I know I am an idiot, please don’t judge me.
But before I get into the nitty gritty of everything that made this book fall flat for me, allow me to introduce the characters to you- we have our first protagonist, Merrick Highvalley (or “Hoi-valley” if you’re an 18th century aristocrat displaced in time), a witch, a half-fae, and a distant descendant of the most celebrated witch in history, who also happens to have trapped our little-not-so-little-because-he’s-actually-ancient prince, the second protagonist, Larkin Dasdemir, in a suspended sleep (much like the sleeping beauty, yes) to protect the country from a murderous fae, who (the prince, not the murderous fae, but kind of also the fae?) then happened to get accidentally awoken by our dear first protagonist
200 years after the event excuse me, 220 years after the event, because yes, 20 years still matters, that’s practically my age minus two.
Still with me? Oh good, let’s continue then.
Larkin would not panic. His dignity was all he had left and he was determined not to lose it.
The story goes so that Larkin had to be put to sleep so that Ula Kana, said murderous fae, could also be put to sleep, and thus stopped in her rampage, but the condition remained that for as long one slept, the other would sleep too, so when Merrick accidentally awakens Larkin, he also unleashes Ula Kana upon the greater world, and now they must stop her before she destroys their country, Eidolonia, which can I just say is the most fantastical name on the history of all fantasy names? Yes? No? Okay, moving on.
And so Larkin, who now refuses to sleep for centuries again, and Merrick, who had brought upon the Eidolonian definition of the apocalypse upon everyone, thus set out to attempt and implement the method that Rosamund Highvalley, the aforementioned all powerful witch who had trapped Larkin, had later devised to successfully stop Ula Kana.
But for this they had to do the most dangerous thing of all- tread into the feyland!
*shocked in sarcasm* (￣︿￣)
The story this far was quite interesting, and I had incredibly high hopes, and then they went into the feyland, and the story, like their now nightmarish reality, devolved into a mess.
To put it in short, they had to visit the three current rulers of the different territories in feyland, and give them gifts, do something they want you to do, and then give them a blade that they would then plunge into the land and create a cage for Ula Kana. And that went about as well as you can image.
The first one, Sia Fia, was your quintessential faery, who drinks and revels and dances the night away in pleasures, and our boys were made to join her, which was kind of expected. They also kind of made out when in her realm, and then immediately fought when they left it, because her realm amplifies your lust and lowers your inhibitions and stuff, which I found stupid to be honest, their fighting that is, and not the powers of Sia Fia. I kept thinking that maybe it was the effects of the next realm- which amplifies your anger- making them fight like kids, but no, it was all them.
So the next one was like I said, a realm where you get irrationally angry, because the fae living there were all hunters and loved fighting and wars, and so the ruler, Arlanuk, wanted them to dun dun dun, fight with each other, which they were already geared up to do. So first they argued, like idiots if I might be allowed to say, and then proceeded to fight physically, again like utter idiots. And in the process, somehow Larkin dies, and Merrick immediately freaks out, and brings him to life using the power plot halo, *coughs*, I meant an all healing potion, or some shit.
And then they have sex. Because of course they do. (；⌣̀_⌣́)
And then they reach the land of sadness and sorrow, ruled over by Vowri, an overgrown leaf? A sky blanket with voice? A talking cloud? I honestly don’t know. But what I do know is that Vowri gets totally fucked over in the story, and I, defender of just antagonists, am completely disgusted by the humans who do a total 180 on her when the deal they AGREED upon, doesn’t go to their liking, and lay a siege on her and… kill her? I think? ↑_(ΦwΦ)Ψ
But more on this down below.
The book completely goes afoul by this point and I was just rolling my eyes at the events that occur. It has an happy ending, so obviously they manage to trap Ula Kana in her desert cage, and Merrick somehow ends up dead in the process, but is then revived because, I reiterate, this book has an happy ending and the author has a sad inability to kill good characters, and I was honestly like, did you just kill the protagonist and bring them back to life? DID YOU JUST DO THAT AGAIN with the other protagonist?! Like who the fuck even does that? ٩(ఠ益ఠ)۶
I swear on my honor, I wanted to quit the book immediately, but then I only had like 4% left before the ending, and quitting then would’ve truthfully been terribly pathetic, and although I may be pathetic, I am not terribly pathetic. So I toughed it out. (￣ ￣|||)
So now the question becomes, why should you read this book?
- Well for one, the cover is really pretty. Do you really not want to read a book with such a pretty cover? Σ>―(〃°ω°〃)♡→
- Even though the plot is a fucking mess, the writing is quite good, and the author is genuinely talented in that department.
- Or maybe you’re not as picky as me about the plot details and just want an epic hero’s tale with a side of MM romance. Well then this just might be the perfect story for you, my friend.
- The world development is genuinely well done, and I would love to see some art based on this story, not going to lie.
But here comes the most crucial part of this review now, what do I criticize about this book?
- Firstly, I honestly did not buy into the whole Larkin and Merrick love story, because it just happened over the course of what.. a week? Two? And that’s like the time since they met to when the book ended, and I honestly find it very hard to ship couples who just become a thing in a very short amount of time. And they, especially, felt incredibly disingenuous in their romance, what with their red-toaster-blue-toaster type fights and personal, undealt with traumas.
- I think, and this is entirely my opinion, that our pair of protagonists, are sadly stupid as all fuck. Sorry. They make tasteless decisions without really thinking them through, and are really like lizards, completely living on instinct alone, no logical thought whatsoever; this is kind of what I kept thinking while reading the book.
- And now it’s time to address what I call the Vowri problem; allow me to expand:
- The big plan was like I mentioned, to gain the favor of the three rulers- Sia Fia, Arlanuk and Vowri, so that they may help them in trapping Ula Kana, when the time to do so arrived. And to achieve that, they had to gift them with magical items, and fulfill a task that the ruler might ask of them; and ask they did, according to their traits. Sia Fia asked for them to entertain her, which they did, even though it half-killed them; Arlanuk asked for a fight, which they gave him, even though it fully-killed Larkin; and Vowri asked for a person she could keep with her and make sad for all their lifetime. (◕‿◕)♡ Which Merrick agreed to being.
- And Larkin, his now lover, did not. But the deal was done, and everyone knows that you have to honor a deal with the fae!
- But he, like the absolute bratty human prince that he was, immediately went back on the promise, and summoned a bunch of fae and got them to fight with Vowri! Completely nullifying the contract! By brute force and bullying! ヽ( `д´*)ノ And I’m supposed to like this guy? Why?
- Look, I get why Ula Kana has to be stopped, because she’s an evil sadistic asshole who goes out of her way to hurt people. But not Vowri! Like yes, Vowri has also hurt hundreds of people, by capturing them and mentally tormenting them for as long as they lived, but those were people that trespassed into her territory, when it is explicitly stated again and again that Vowri does not like trespassers.
- She’s not evil! She’s just sadistic. You’re free to disagree with me of course, but in a book about human encroachment on territories of other species, and how we should respect their homes and stuff, I just find it a bit rich and hypocritical for killing someone for existing in their space, just because you didn’t like what they did there. And also because you needed your lover back when he legally (in fae lands) was now rightfully Vowri’s to mentally fuck up as she wished to.
- In short I feel terrible about Vowri.
- We get no back story on why Ula Kana is so hateful and hell bent on driving the humans from the island, and I feel like that’s a crime. <(￣ ﹌ ￣)>
Long story short-
I wanted to enjoy this book, and for a while I did as well, but then my mind just ran off analyzing everything, and the story then, was quick to fall apart unfortunately.
About this author: