Book Bites | Fae: The Wild Hunt – Graham Austin-King

About the Book

Faeries… The fae… The stuff of bedtime stories and fables.

But sometimes the faerie tales are true. Sometimes they are a warning…

For a hundred generations the fae have been locked away from the world, in the cold, the Outside. They have faded out of sight and mind, into myth and folklore. But now the barriers are weakening and they push against the tattered remnants of the wyrde as they seek a way to return.

As a new religion spreads across the world, sweeping the old ways and beliefs away before it, a warlike people look across the frozen ocean towards the shores of Anlan, hungry for new lands. War is coming, even as the wyrde of the Droos is fading.

As the fae begin to force their way through the shreds of the wyrde, will mankind be able to accept the truth concealed in the tales of children in time to prepare for the Wild Hunt?

332 pages (kindle)
Published on June 3, 2015
Published by Realmwalker Publishing Group
Author’s webpage
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This book was sent by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Sometimes the best stories are the fairly simple ones, the ones you can just sit down and enjoy just because they are enjoyable. And then there are the other ones that are enjoyable in that respect, but also add a little something new. Fae: The Wild Hunt falls into the second category.

This book takes a little while to get warmed up. The first half is slower than the second, but much of it is spent building up the world and the characters, and slowly setting the stage for what is to come. The story is told through a few different perspectives, and at the start it isn’t clear how they all fit together, though it becomes obvious later. In relation to that, some characters are a bit more interesting than others, a few of whom never really did much for me, perpetually feeling distant, or (sorry to admit) uninteresting.

King is a descriptive writer, and while I enjoy my books full of description, some readers might find that it’s a bit too much. That being said, it’s that description that made so many of the scenes come alive and help fill the book with emotion and the haunting atmosphere that seemed to grow as things progressed. In regards to the plot, I had a hard time with the timeline occasionally. There was a jump in time with a character, and I didn’t really catch on that a few years had been spanned until about a page after it happened. Likewise, I wasn’t sure when exactly that same jump happened with the other characters. There were also some minor editing issues. For example, on one page I saw the word “aunty” and about two paragraphs later it was “auntie.” Not a big deal, but I saw small errors like that throughout the book.

I’m surprised with how much the author managed to pack into this one fairly short (for me) novel. He built a world, a religion, a culture, a magic system, and characters. Yes, there are flaws, but this isn’t just a fun story, there’s a lot in these pages for readers to chew on. And, despite the slow start and some pacing issues, it managed to keep me interested throughout. There were some surprising twists and turns, plenty of tension, and the author’s unique voice really helped suck me in almost instantly. Furthermore, I enjoyed how much light and dark is juxtaposed, from dreamlike scenes that had a shocking haunting quality, to the intense bond between a mother and child. Love, loss, and fear play huge roles in this book, and they are worked into the book quite well.

It might sound like this one didn’t impress me much, which really isn’t true. Fae: The Wild Hunt certainly did have its problems, but this is a book that made me want to know what was going to happen next. I wanted to read it, and isn’t that the most important quality in a book? It felt like a retelling of old tales in a darker tone. It’s descriptive and layered, full of mystery and tension with a nice dollop of hope and love to balance it all out and keep it from ever getting too dark.

I think every book has a test that it either passes or fails. Do I want to read more? In this case, yes. Despite the problems I saw, and because of everything I enjoyed, I want to learn more about the world, the characters, the fae and everything else. Fae: The Wild Hunt is a solid foundation for the author to build on, and a nice introduction to a unique fantasy world.

 

3/5 stars