After in being in a bit of a reading slump, I was really craving something different, something with faeries and something full of magic. Halayda is certainly all of the above. It has so many fresh and new ideas that it left me salivating (luckily not literally, but maybe over the faerie prince) for more.
- Halayda by Sarah Delena White
- Kindle Edition – 438 pages
- Release Date: 23rd March 2017
- Published by: Uncommon Universes Press LLC
- ISBN: 0997409967
- Goodreads page for the novel here
“A mortal alchemist. A faerie king. A bond that transcends death.
Betrayed by a trusted mentor, Sylvie Imanthiya hides on the fringes of society, caring for half-fae orphans and trading her alchemical creations on the black market. She lives for the one night each season when she can see her dearest friend—a man whose destiny is far above hers.
King Taylan Ashkalabek knows better than to exchange halayda vows with a mortal. Even their friendship is a risk; love is an impossible dream. Then a brutal alchemical attack poisons his realm, unearthing a dark power within him—and leaving Sylvie with the ancient mark of Faerie’s savior.
Manifesting unpredictable abilities and aided by allies with their own secrets, Sylvie and Taylan journey into the wilds of Faerie to heal the damage and confront Casimir, an invincible star-fae determined to claim the realm as his own. But only their enemy knows Sylvie’s true capabilities—and Taylan’s weaknesses—and how to use them in his vicious schemes.
Her fate is life. His fate is death. With Faerie in the balance, Sylvie and Taylan must stand together before reality as they know it is destroyed.” [blurb from Goodreads]
This book is a fantastic story! And was a massive surprise for me. It had popped up on my recommended reads a few times but I just dismissed it. Mainly because I saw ‘Star-Fae’ and was expecting a sci-fi and me and sci-fi have a love and hate relationship. However, I was so wrong. This book is so much more than I first thought it was. So much so that now I will be following the release of the whole series. And I think anyone else who loves anything about Faerie should. But if you need some convincing…
Firstly, the world building is AMAZING. For any fantasy book in particular I really pay special attention to this. Like, who wants a terribly boring world? A massive strength was the divide between the so called ‘ordinary’ world and that of Faerie. The ordinary world contains alchemists who use chemistry and science to gain power. Whereas, on the Faerie side, you have some pretty badass Fae. These isn’t the stuff of Disney (thank god) it’s like the Seelie and Unseelie which obviously equals DARK. (*internally squeals in joy*). It also reminds me of the original mythology of the Fae, being in courts and being attractive but obviously deadly.
Photo from my bookstagram.
However, in between these worlds you get changelings (half-fae/half-human), but not enough of either blood that they aren’t accepted by anyone. One of these half-fae is Sylvie Imanthiya. She is an alchemist half-fae herself (which is rare) with no visible faerie abilities, but she enjoys the occasional request for help from Taylan, the King of Faerie (WHOM IS LITERALLY LIKE A GOD). She also takes in all these unwanted half-fae, helps them and acts as an adopted mother. She has so many good traits and is a great protagonist.
For me, everything was so cohesive that it made sense, but it still retained that ‘otherness’ you really need within a fantasy novel. Sylvie, as a character that has mingled between both worlds, was easy to empathise with. The reader is shown the world of Faerie through her eyes and as she is seeing it for the first time, it feels like we are.
I need to talk about the Faerie King because just OH MY! Anyone knows me, or follows me on any social media sites, knows how much I love Faerie Kings or Princes (Rhysand, Lucian etc) but I think Taylan has really stole my heart for a while. Taylan is not your typical fae-folk, he’s not vain or selfish. He is a warrior who toke the kingdom by force (only way to take the rulership of Faerie), but for the past thousands of years he has been plagued with this. He is constantly trying to keep others best interests and even though he is a badass warrior, he has a heart. And a lovely one at that.
Finally, alongside the fantastic world building and characters , you have great plot development too. I don’t want to spoil much with the plot but you could tell the characters have really been thought of as individuals and nobody was left without some sort of story behind them. Everything felt like a magical adventure and I truly fell in love with the world inside the novel.
SO. If you are in need of a good fantasy with faeries I really recommend this. I will be shocked if you hate it! And, after finding out this is an independent book too, it made me realise I need to read more…what else could we all be missing out on?
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