About the Book
Ravaged by a horrific experience, Oliver Webb flees the smog-bound city of Greynox for a quiet seaside village and the inheritance he’s never seen: a cottage called Farview. He discovers clear skies, friendly imps, and a charming storyteller named Felix Corbyn.
With help from Felix’s tales, Oliver learns surprising secrets about his family history and discovers what home really means. But with Felix cursed, Oliver growing deathly ill, and an obligation in Greynox hanging heavy around his neck, it seems that not even wizards can save the day.
Still, as Felix knows, stories are the best truths and the most powerful magic. Perhaps the right words might yet conjure a chance for happiness.
268 pages (paperback)
Published on June 10, 2021
Buy the book
I came across this book because one of my friends recommended it. I was in the mood for something a bit enchanting, a bit lighter and this sounded like exactly my thing. Plus, it’s LGBTQIA+ friendly, which is always a huge, huge bonus. So, I jumped on it. I bought a copy, and reader, I blazed through this thing. I mean, I opened the book, and I basically read it in one sitting, and then immediately upon finishing it I thought, “I really want to read that again.”
I can’t even figure out how to sum up this book. To say it’s utterly charming is one of the biggest understatements I can think of. To say it’s captivating doesn’t do it justice. Farview is… I think it’s as close to perfection as a novel like this can be, and I don’t say that lightly.
What you first need to know, is that while this is billed as the second book in a series, it stands perfectly on its own. I did not read the first book in this series before I got to Farview, and I felt absolutely no drawback due to that. The story is its own thing, perfectly encapsulated here, with no real need for book one before you enjoy book two.
Oliver Webb arrives in a small, quiet seaside village and the cottage he inherited from his mother (and has never seen) in an effort to basically just fade away. He is running from something and he’s coming to this place to get away from it, live in this cottage alone, and waste away quietly. He’s a rather cantankerous man at the start of the book, unimpressed and doesn’t want to be messed with. Almost as soon as he arrives in Croftwell, Felix, a local storyteller and bard, attaches himself to Oliver. The two couldn’t, at first, be more opposite, and that’s where part of the magic is.
But only part of it.
First, let me talk a bit about Oliver and Felix, because it is very rare I come across such a perfectly suited couple in a book. Oliver’s cantankerous, closed off nature and Felix’s overflowing excitement and enthusiasm really pair well, like wine and cheese. It’s really nothing short of absolutely delightful to watch these characters become attached, and how they not only complement each other, but change each other for the better. Furthermore, both Oliver and Felix have secrets, have things the other needs to work around and account for, and never once was any of that excused away, or downplayed. Their strengths and weaknesses were fundamental parts of their characters and narrative arcs, and that just made them feel so much more real to me.
Oliver and Felix are an interesting couple in the fact they are both grappling with aspects of their pasts, and their present. They are, in a lot of ways, getting to know themselves as well as each other, and while Felix’s life is a bit more… imbedded in a certain routine, I’d say they are both at a time of transition and change. They end up being each other’s strengths during the unexpected storms they must weather. Their unlikely partnership is really the shining light of the book, so sweet and natural, so true, it’s an unfolding romance the way a romance should be written with high and low notes, emotional intensity, and moments of genuine, soul-deep connection.
And oh, reader, in this book, we get men that cry and I love that.
Magic, as I mentioned above, is prevalent. It’s everywhere, from imps who hang around and steal things that are left unaccounted for, to firestones, to magic flowers, and ghosts, merpeople, winged people… it is all here, and its everywhere. When I say, this world is steeped in magic, I mean it. Every page positively sings with enchantments. What’s more, it was so cleverly done, so carefully woven together, and somehow, it felt so natural to the world Fielding created, I never once doubted it. Elements I might otherwise have written off as “too ham-handed” became enchanting under this author’s careful ministrations. Slowly the world unfolded itself to me, and I realized, by the end of the book, I had fallen so much under its spell, I felt like Farview had worked a bit of its own magic on me.
If you’re looking for a fairytale, you really can’t do better than this. This is the sort of fantasy that does the soul good, but it’s also just stunningly well written. The world is absolutely breathtaking, and the unfolding love is nothing short of pure perfection. Rarely have I seen an author master a story so well, and I know this one will be a re-read. If you like Quenby Olson, you’ll like this book.
I sat down to read this book hoping for something a bit softer, a bit enchanting, a bit sweet, and in every respect, Farview knocked it out of the park. I don’t think I’ve been this delighted by a book in a long, long time.