Published  March 12, 2024 by Orbit S et in a world of perilous magic and moonlit forests, this seductive romantic fantasy tells the story of...

Book Review || A Feather So Black by Lyra Selene

Published March 12, 2024 by Orbit

Set in a world of perilous magic and moonlit forests, this seductive romantic fantasy tells the story of a defiant changeling, her cursed sister, and the dangerous fae lord she must defeat to save her family.

In a kingdom where magic has been lost, Fia is a rare changeling, left behind by the wicked Fair Folk when they stole the high queen's daughter, Eala, and retreated behind the locked gates of the Folk realm. Rather than leave Fia an outcast, the queen takes her in and trains her to be a spy.

When a hidden gate to the realm is discovered, Fia is tasked by the queen to retrieve the princess and break her curse. Accompanying Fia is Prince Rogan, her dearest childhood friend—and Eala’s betrothed. As they journey through the forests of the Folk, Fia’s mission is complicated by her feelings for Rogan…and an unexpected attraction to the fae lord holding Eala captive. 

Soon, Fia begins to question the truth of her origins and the reality of her mission, but time is running out to break Eala's curse. And unraveling the secrets of the past might destroy everything Fia has come to love.

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There is a ton of fae-based "romantasy" out there right now since the rise of fiction like ACOTAR. It's difficult given the complete inundation of the current book market to publish something that feels fresh. However, that's just what Lyra Selene did. This fairytale-inspired tale has a uniqueness, while still containing the elements that more mainstream readers will enjoy. 

Even though she was swapped for the princess, Fia hasn't lived a cushy life. The queen has raised her as a weapon and given her love like one would for a dog learning to sit. Affection only when she's done a good job. As anyone would be raised like that, Fia spent a lot of time with her inner dialogue on repeat. You really just want her to wise up and realize that she's worthy already. Fia could get on your nerves quick yet you found yourself cheering her on at other times. 

Fia and Rogan can only access the fae world on the full moon so a lot of the book was character development. I loved the development of Fia's botanical magic and bringing the greenhouse back to life. Fia's relationship with the sprite Corra added a spot of mischief to the story. Despite that, A Feather So Black's ending got dark.  I was surprised at how dark a turn it actually took. 

This is going to be one of those dividing books. You are either going to love it or hate it. I enjoyed the world-building and the mythology. The romance wasn't my favorite thing about the book but if you like enemy-to-lover tropes and insta love, it may just work for you.