This story is based on the “only children can see fairies” plotline with a modern twist. Cassie is no longer a child but she can see them, as can her dying aunt. However, the rest of the adults consider this ability mental illness, with all the hush-hush and secrecy that abounds where that topic comes up.
And the fairies are not the sweet, tiny sprites we were brought up to expect. Small they may be, but they are as bloodthirsty and warlike as their human enemies. The political realities of the fae kingdom remind me of Oberon and Titania in Midsummer Night’s Dream.
This creates a nicely complex conflict, with little certainty as to who is on which side or how the interpersonal relationships in human and fairy families will affect everyone.
Adding to the richness of the reading experience is the depth of the world building and the lush description that brings it to us.
My only complaint is that the two main characters, fae and human, can be depended upon to do something completely senseless at every single plot juncture, thus furthering the conflict but drawing our attention to the needs of the author. I mean, Tae is several hundred years old. Does he have to do exactly the opposite of what his mother wants, 100% of the time? Likewise the actions and attitudes of Cassie’s parents will predictably cause the conflict required, leaving them little chance to develop as real people with a human relationship with their daughter.
Recommended for fans of the faery kingdoms who like their fantasy a touch realistic, gritty and modern.(4 / 5)