A half-faerie teenager struggles to stop a malicious entity from destroying both the mortal and enchanted worlds in this YA fantasy.
Life as a half-faerie has never been easy for 18-year-old Melia. She and her sisters, Melusine and Plantine, were born to mortal druid Elynus and full-blooded faerie Pressina. But when Elynus broke the faerie troth by seeing his wife at childbirth, his family had to return to the Realm of Faerie in the enchanted world. The sisters can communicate telepathically, but Melia’s disturbed by her telepathic link to Elynus, which triggers visions of violence and death. The druid’s trying to incarnate Umbra, a sinister consciousness that needs a living vessel and whose emergence can destroy the Whole, encompassing all known realms. Elynus wants to reunite with Pressina but hints to Melia, who visits him in the mortal world, that Umbra will right the “horrible crimes” in Faerie. Melia’s determined to stop her father, but a sudden tragedy rattles her faerie household. At the same time, others hoping for an Umbra incarnation kidnap Plantine (a family secret explains why) and seek a sword and basin that together can lead Umbra to a vessel. Melia and friends, from spring faerie Flora to priest Ryder, set out to save Plantine and thwart Umbra. The tale is practically bursting with characters, all of whom Garrett (Half Mortal, 2015, etc.) skillfully molds into individual personalities. Flora, for one, is reputedly the last of the spring faeries, while 19-year-old Ryder is the same soothing green-eyed stranger from Melia’s visions. There’s an unmistakable villain—Plantine’s abductor, who plans on marrying Melia’s seemingly spellbound baby sister. Quite a few characters, however, are deliciously ambiguous, including Pressina, who dabbles in black magic, and Sevondi, a dragonwitch who may be bad but is also a scorned lover. Other mythical characters crop up, like dwarves and elves, and though the story’s primarily a rescue mission, simply reaching Plantine involves an arduous journey. The indelible ending resolves much of the plot while a lingering uneasiness aptly sets the groundwork for a subsequent volume.
Melia isn’t the only character who can carry her own series in a mythical tale as appealing as it is impressive.