Thursday, November 01, 2018

Review: The Lord of Stariel -- A J Lancaster (Camberion Press)

When I was a kid I often enjoyed reading books from beginning to end, but as an adult that experience has become somewhat rare. But THE LORD OF STARIEL was exactly that kind of experience. The story opens by sliding the read seamless into an alternative universe that feels a bit like the late 1920s or early 30s, but with tradesmanlike magic running in parallel to pre-industrial-revolution technology and low key druidic religion. Nevertheless the recognizable historic issues peak through: aristocratic estates beginning to struggle, and sexist and class barriers just beginning to be challenged.

Hetta is the black sheep of a noble family whose magical process of determining the heir to the estate makes her an unexpected wild card in a dangerous game between her family and a fairy realm that few of them even knew existed. The plot jogs along with enough tropes to be cozy and enough twists to be interesting—and a dash of romance as well. Sort of “Far From the Madding Crowd” meets “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries”, with a healthy dash of high fantasy and fresh angle provided by A J Lancaster’s direct and exposition free prose.

Reading this story was a frictionless journey through a fully realized word with a heroine who you really want to see conquer the challenges before her (and choose the right guy to help her out along the way). I will not hesitate to read the sequels when they become available.

Review copy courtesy of Netgalley 5/5

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