Hello there bookish folk! Today I’m bringing you my review of the first three books of the Regency Faerie Tales series by Olivia Atwater, as part of the blog tour organised by Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers. Thank you to Tracy, as well as the author and Orbit Books for the review copies.
Here’s a quick run down if the plots of each book:
Half A Soul:
Ever since she was cursed by a faerie, Theodora Ettings has had no sense of fear or embarrassment – a condition which makes her prone to accidental scandal. Dora hopes to be a quiet, sensible wallflower during the London Season – but when the strange, handsome and utterly uncouth Lord Sorcier discovers her condition, she is instead drawn into dangerous and peculiar faerie affairs.
If Dora’s reputation can survive both her curse and her sudden connection with the least-liked man in all of high society, then she may yet reclaim her normal place in the world. . . but the longer Dora spends with Elias Wilder, the more she begins to suspect that one may indeed fall in love, even with only half a soul.
Ten Thousand Stitches:
Effie has most inconveniently fallen in love with the dashing Mr Benedict Ashbrooke. There’s only one problem; Effie is a housemaid, and a housemaid cannot marry a gentleman. It seems that Effie is out of luck until she stumbles into the faerie realm of Lord Blackthorn, who is only too eager to help Effie win Mr Ashbrooke’s heart. All he asks in return is that Effie sew ten thousand stitches onto his favourite jacket.
Effie has heard rumours about what happens to those who accept help from faeries, but life as a maid at Hartfield is so awful that she is willing to risk even her immortal soul for a chance at something better. Now, she has one hundred days – and ten thousand stitches – to make Mr Ashbrooke fall in love and propose. . . if Lord Blackthorn doesn’t wreck things by accident, that is.
The marriageable young ladies of London are dying mysteriously, and Abigail Wilder intends to discover why. Abigail’s father, the Lord Sorcier of England, believes that a dark lord of faerie is involved – but while Abigail is willing to match her magic against Lord Longshadow, neither her father nor high society believe that she is capable of doing so.
Thankfully, Abigail is not the only one investigating the terrible events in London. Mercy, a street rat and self-taught magician, insists on joining Abigail to unravel the mystery. But while Mercy’s own magic is strange and foreboding, she may well pose an even greater danger to Abigail’s heart.
Olivia Atwater writes whimsical historical fantasy with a hint of satire. She lives in Montreal, Quebec with her fantastic, prose-inspiring husband and her two cats. When she told her second-grade history teacher that she wanted to work with history someday, she is fairly certain this isn’t what either party had in mind. She has been, at various times, a historical re-enactor, a professional witch at a metaphysical supply store, a web developer, and a vending machine repairperson.
Books are such powerful things and the experience of reading can bring so much. In the case of this series, they brought me sheer joy and comfort. These books are the equivalent of being curled up with a cozy blanket and a hot drink by a roaring fire. They were a perfect escape.
Olivia Atwater’s series delivers a well balanced combination of regency romance and light fantasy. We are introduced to various characters in the familiar regency romance landscape who then find themselves drawn in to some mystery or plot involving inhabitants of the adjacent lands of Faerie.
The characters are all likeable, though I will say that Dora and the Lord Sorcier from Half A Soul remained my favourites. We see characters from different books appear in others in the series, and the ways and workings of the faeries had started to take more shape by the end of book 3.
Throughout all of the books, our characters demonstrate the strength of kindness and the importance of sticking up for those in need. It really warms the cockles!! As I said, the books were a real comfort, they are sweet but not overly so.
I’ve seen the series described as “Bridgerton meets Howl’s Moving Castle”. It certainly shares setting elements with Bridgerton but anyone looking for the steaminess of that series should look elsewhere.
I’d really recommend this series to anyone looking for a whimsical, cozy fantasy-romance read. You won’t regret it.
You can follow the rest of the tour below!