Title: Enchanted Revenge
Author: Theresa M. Jones
Series: The Empyrean Chronicles #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
When seventeen year old Lily finds her parents brutally murdered, leaving her broken and alone, she is determined to bring justice to the fairies responsible.
Her quest leads her to infiltrate The Empyrean, the land of the Fae where terrifying creatures lurk in every shadow. But with a political rebellion mounting, bloody battles and foreign enemies stand in her way. Alec, a mysterious fairy keeping his own secrets, gradually becomes her guide and dear friend in the unfamiliar world, and restores her faith in love.
Disturbing secrets about her parent’s true identity are revealed, causing her to be more involved with the devastating fairy war than she can afford. Her vengeful mission becomes compromised and her growing romance with Alec wavers.
She must conquer her fear of the unknown, ignore her grief, and overcome her growing list of enemies if she is to succeed in avenging her parents’ death. Or ever make it out alive.
Source: Review copy from the author
It’s entirely possible that I’m just becoming too old for this type of book, because although there were good things here I struggled to maintain my interest throughout most of it. Lily is your expected type of heroine – unusually beautiful (although it takes ages for us to actually learn what she looks like other than being short), a bit of a loner, is a tragic orphan, has had no idea that she’s Fae, launches a heroic quest, has a handsome mentor/travelling companion to fall for and who she trusts implicitly for absolutely no reason, and so on and so forth.
The trouble was that I didn’t find Lily all that interesting – in fact I frequently forgot her name, so whenever someone called her that it was a bit of a jolt. I think most of the problem comes from the fact that I feel like I’ve read about her before, just without any defining characteristics that made her standout from other heroines of this type. However, on the whole she’s pretty good at not doing really stupid things to keep the plot flowing, so overall she’s okay. A few less pop culture references probably wouldn’t have gone a miss (especially as there are TARDIS trees and she says nothing, so clearly isn’t a Doctor Who fan, which made me sad), but on the whole she didn’t annoy me too much.
Unlike Alec, who coupled cocky arrogance with brooding grumpiness and mood swings, also has a tragic past and is several hundred years old while lusting after a seventeen year old girl, who by the standards of his people is barely more than a baby. This sort of thing doesn’t always bother me in YA books, depending on the story, but it really did here. Mostly because Lily’s young status is repeated often. She isn’t even old enough to have her magic for most of the book, and the novice status lasts for a good century, which means she really is only a baby. Because of the age thing, I have to admit the idea of Fae coming into their magic bang on their seventeenth birthday also really didn’t fit in with the rest of the “look how old and long lived we are, while you are young and unimportant” stuff. I get why it’s seventeen, because this is YA, but it really didn’t fit in with everything else.
The world building is pretty solid and the Fae are quite well done. Admittedly the four categories – Sylph, air; Nymph, earth; Sprite, water; Pixie, fire – didn’t quite work for me (the pixies mostly, they just aren’t fiery to my mind and I couldn’t remember what the water fae were until right near the end), but the Empyrean itself was an interesting place with plenty of rich description. However, some of the descriptions were a bit overlong and the plot definitely dragged along for most of the book, killing time until Lily’s birthday. It does thankfully perk up towards the end, but as I said there were times when I struggled to stay interested.
The plot itself is pretty predictable and definitely follows familiar lines, with twists that aren’t at all unexpected and some bits that could have been chopped out without anything being lost (Fenrir). But that’s not always a bad thing, it just puts more pressure on the characters, which left me wishing at times that there were more of them, or at least another pov apart from Lily’s to keep things ticking along.
Overall, though, this is a solid fae read, laying down plenty of foundations for the rest of the series. For me personally it didn’t grab my attention as much as I hoped from the blurb, but if you love a bit of YA Fae, then this is probably right up your street.
Enchanted Revenge is Out Now!
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