Book Series: The Fair Isle Trilogy
To Carve a Fae Heart - ⭐️⭐️⭐️
To Wear a Fae Crown - ⭐️⭐️⭐️
To Spark a Fae War - ⭐️⭐️
Author: Tessonja Odette
Buy link?: at the end of this post ⤵️
Let me start this review by saying how pretty the covers of this book series are. There’s the saying, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover,’ but who doesn’t do that? It’s the first impression will get of the story behind its pages. So, it better catch our attention, right?
Now, when you open the book, one of the first things you see is the map of this fantasy world. I have to say it was a bit of a red flag for me. I know how huge the influence of ACOTAR has been in the Fantasy Romance genre. I can’t imagine how hard it is to create such a complex world, characters and plot. Therefore, I understand how other stories might try to grab one detail or another from Sarah J. Maas series. This said, well the map depicts an island divided by a wall. That wall divides the human lands from the fae lands. Sounds familiar? Also, the Fae lands evoke the seasons and elements. Does it look a little bit like Prythian?
Then, you keep reading and you meet Aspen, King of the Autumn Court. A big fae with antlers and hair as dark as the night, but of course with this bluish tone Fantasy Romance authors and readers adore. When I imagine him, not only for his physical form but also his character, I picture a mix of Tamlin and Rhysand. And of course, let’s not forget our female protagonist, Evelyn. She is a regular human girl, daughter of an apothecary, with dreams of becoming a surgeon. It doesn’t get more human than that. You can imagine there will be some turns of events that I won’t disclose, of course.
Even though the book series has many similarities to ACOTAR, I can say the story flies on its own. It’s not a copycat, but probably the influence other stories have in any author’s mind. In fact, there are some aspects that remind me too of “The Folk of the Air.” Curious enough, this series description states “perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince, ACOTAR, and The Iron King.” So there you go folks.
Books 1 & 2
Book 1 and 2 were ok. I felt, especially in the first one, that the important moments of the story needed more work, meaning stronger arguments. I needed more ironclad justifications to understand the what and the why. Again, I’m a big fan of ACOTAR. I’m always looking for similar Fae stories. It’s not easy to create such compelling and well built plots that create enough suspense and deliver sound proof strategies and conflicts. I guess the practice makes the master. So, yes, these two-first books needed a bit more of that but they were well on their way.
I will comment, though, on the ending. They weren’t standalone books, but the cliffhangers weren’t exactly leaving you dramatically hanging. It felt more like the author’s words were draining by the end, so it was time to cut the sentence in two. The first half ends book 1, the second half starts book 2.
Moving to book 3, this one unfortunately was lacking for me. It’s difficult to write a review when there’s not much praise. I don’t like to sound like I know it all. I don’t want my words to discourage authors, if they rise to have that power at all. However, I can’t throw roses when I can’t find them.
Even though it’s interesting to give humans such power and even superiority over the Fae, I can’t pretend I like seeing such scared Fae. I mean, Fae have incredible powers. Can you really tell me that a tsunami wave couldn’t break a warship in two? Explain to me how is it that a plain human with only an iron dagger could outsmart two or three powerful Fae? Are you really saying that you strike your number one enemy and you don’t make sure the person is dead? How many times our protagonists and allies faced this same person over and over and they couldn’t take him out of the equation? It doesn’t make any sense to me.
Now, I get that humans have developed incredible iron weapons that the Fae should fear. Nonetheless, when they realize a war is coming, led by those human armies, there legs were almost shaking, to say the least. Is that how powerful Fae react, as if they are inferior? I can’t wrap my mind around this. Again, I find it eye-opening and surprising to see humans, a race that is usually portrayed as inferior and defenseless, with such confidence and resolve. That doesn’t mean that now the Fae must take the part of the defenseless cowered race. Can’t they be two powerful races that have different powers and weapons to face each other?
I felt I was never going to finish the book.
Moreover, the story, especially in this final book, became too predictive. What was going to happen was too obvious. Therefore, it got boring and plain. I felt I was never going to finish the book. But the most important aspect of this, is that my making it predictable, the actions that took place lacked credibility for me as a reader. It didn’t make sense how certain characters wouldn’t realize what was going to happen because the scene was right there in front of them. Hence, my not taking immediate adequate action, it makes it look like the characters were a bit dumb. In other words, the strategy wasn’t really there, and this is what I mean when I say, how difficult it must be to create ironclad stories.
I still want more from Aspen and Evelyn, though. I’m not saying it was romantically lacking, at all. I’m just saying that when you like the chemistry and interactions between a couple, you always want more even after the story ends. This means that I’m probably going to read Tessonja’s other book series in the hope I’ll get glimpses of them.
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