Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
Release Date: 5th January, 2021
Rating: 4/5 Stars
I want to note something here before getting into the review. I’m used to ARCs having poor formatting, but this was possibly one of the worst I’ve actually seen – it made reading it difficult, and I very nearly DNF’d this early on. However, I stuck with it, pushed through, and actually really enjoyed the story itself. But seriously, sometimes I think publishers do authors a disservice when ARCs are almost unreadable. I am grateful to Central Avenue Publishing for providing a copy of this book via NetGalley, I am glad I stuck with the book, but the reading experience was, at times, difficult.
Okay! Now for the review.
To secure a truce between the fairy Ula Kana and the humans on the north Pacific Island of Eidolonia, Prince Larkin is put in an enchanted sleep in 1799, one which ensures Ula Kana remains sleeping, too. His family are told it is only temporary, until another way is found. But two centuries later he is accidently awoken by modern-day witch Merrick Highvalley. The spell releases Ula Kana as well, and the two must enter the fae realm, looking for a way to stop her.
Larkin and Merrick were both really engaging characters, both starting a little self-centred and reckless, but as the story goes on, they learn to overcome their differences. Merrick cares deeply for his sibling and niece, and Larkin struggles to come to terms with the modern world and technology. They have their vulnerabilities, in a way you don’t often see with male characters.
The fae world created in this story was beautifully written, descriptions covering all five senses, and really evocative imagery used. Lava Red Feather Blue feels different from other Fantasy style Romances, and the use of fae and the different lands, their hierarchy, the use of elements all blend together really well, giving this a really solid sense of worldbuilding.
Both the story and world feel comforting in familiarity, but unique in key ways. There’s no hand wrangling over sexuality or gender, no ‘torment’ for those who are not cis het. There’s no ‘coming out’ or explanations – instead, this is very much a world where everyone is free to love who they love and be who they are, though there is danger for those who love the fae.
Despite the issues when I first started this book, I ended up really enjoying it, and getting totally engrossed in Merrick and Larkin’s quest, and the world they venture through. If you like Fantasy with strong Romance elements, fae, and wonderful world-building, I suspect you’ll really enjoy Lava Red Feather Blue.