Friday 26 August 2022

BLOG TOUR: Regency Faerie Tales series - Olivia Atwater

I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the fantastic Regency Faerie Tales series by Olivia Atwater.  So, instead of a single book review this is a triple book review!

First up, it's Half a Soul.

It's difficult to find a husband in Regency England when you're a young lady with only half a soul.

Ever since she was cursed by a faerie, Theodora Ettings has had no sense of fear or embarrassment - a condition which makes her prone to accidental scandal. Dora hopes to be a quiet, sensible wallflower during the London Season - but when the strange, handsome and utterly uncouth Lord Sorcier discovers her condition, she is instead drawn into dangerous and peculiar faerie affairs.

If Dora's reputation can survive both her curse and her sudden connection with the least-liked man in all of high society, then she may yet reclaim her normal place in the world. . . but the longer Dora spends with Elias Wilder, the more she begins to suspect that one may indeed fall in love, even with only half a soul.

Bridgerton meets Howl's Moving Castle in this enchanting historical fantasy, where the only thing more meddlesome than faeries is a marriage-minded mother.

Pick up HALF A SOUL, and be stolen away into Olivia Atwater's charming, magical version of Regency England!

What did I think?

I've been reading more fantasy novels lately and with books of such high quality as Half a Soul, it's quickly becoming one of my favourite genres.  If you're looking for escapism, then look no further than the Regency Faerie Tales series.

A list of characters is included at the start of the book in the form of a 'Dramatis Personae' and I loved reading the short, entertaining biographies of each one.  You don't have to remember them of course, as each character is introduced within the novel, but it's handy to refer back to if you forget who a particular character is.

Dora is a wonderful main character; she only has half a soul so she doesn't experience emotions and her interactions with others are often funny and charming.  Dora is drawn into solving an intriguing mystery with Elias Wilder, the Lord Sorcier, and their story is entertaining and delightful.

Olivia Atwater's writing style is completely breathtaking; mixing historical fiction with fantasy is absolute genius.  Half a Soul is a novel that has everything; the scandal and competition of Bridgerton, an intriguing mystery to solve, a surprising and charming romance, and a colourful and magical Faerie realm.  

Half a Soul is an adult fairy tale written in the style of a classic Jane Austen novel and it's brilliant.  I enjoyed it so much that I plan to read it again and again.  It deserves a place on my bookshelf along with my many copies of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (my comfort book) as I found Half a Soul to be equally comforting, magical and entertaining.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon


The second book (and my personal favourite) is Ten Thousand Stitches.

Faerie godfathers are supposed to help young ladies find love. Unfortunately, no one told Lord Blackthorn that.

Effie has most inconveniently fallen in love with the dashing Mr Benedict Ashbrooke. There's only one problem; Effie is a housemaid, and a housemaid cannot marry a gentleman. It seems that Effie is out of luck until she stumbles into the faerie realm of Lord Blackthorn, who is only too eager to help Effie win Mr Ashbrooke's heart. All he asks in return is that Effie sew ten thousand stitches onto his favourite jacket.

Effie has heard rumours about what happens to those who accept help from faeries, but life as a maid at Hartfield is so awful that she is willing to risk even her immortal soul for a chance at something better. Now, she has one hundred days - and ten thousand stitches - to make Mr Ashbrooke fall in love and propose. . . if Lord Blackthorn doesn't wreck things by accident, that is.

From the author of HALF A SOUL comes a whimsical faerie tale set in a magical version of Regency England, with an enchanting Cinderella twist.

What did I think?

I loved Half a Soul, the first book in the Regency Faerie Tales series, so I couldn't wait to read Ten Thousand Stitches.  Not only did I love Ten Thousand Stitches, I completed adored it. 

Olivia Atwater's characters are so vividly depicted that they almost pop out of the book the moment you turn the page.  The main character of housemaid Effie is no exception and I loved her dream of falling in love with Benedict, a gentleman who is out of her league.  All is not lost for Effie though, as she makes a bargain with Lord Blackthorn, a faerie, who will grant her wish in exchange for sewing ten thousand stitches on his jacket.

With hints of Cinderella (my favourite Disney film), the well-known fairy tale is turned on its head and makes you question why on earth you would want to marry someone who can't see the real you.  Love is more than skin deep and Effie discovers that her Prince Charming may not be who she thought it was after all.

I loved meeting colourful new characters in Ten Thousand Stitches, as well as encountering some old friends from Half a Soul.  You can definitely read Ten Thousand Stitches as a standalone and there's a 'Dramatis Personae' included at the beginning which lists all the characters.  As much as it's a handy reference guide to the characters it's also very entertaining to read their little biographies, so don't be tempted to skip past it.

Part adult fairy tale, part regency romance, completely brilliant, Ten Thousand Stitches is a delightful tale with a twist.  I loved it and already want to read it again.  An easy five stars. 

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon


And finally, the third book: Longshadow.

Proper Regency ladies are not supposed to become magicians - but Miss Abigail Wilder is far from proper.

The marriageable young ladies of London are dying mysteriously, and Abigail Wilder intends to discover why. Abigail's father, the Lord Sorcier of England, believes that a dark lord of faerie is involved - but while Abigail is willing to match her magic against Lord Longshadow, neither her father nor high society believe that she is capable of doing so.

Thankfully, Abigail is not the only one investigating the terrible events in London. Mercy, a street rat and self-taught magician, insists on joining Abigail to unravel the mystery. But while Mercy's own magic is strange and foreboding, she may well pose an even greater danger to Abigail's heart.

From the author of HALF A SOUL comes a queer faerie tale romance full of love and defiant hope. Pick up LONGSHADOW, and return once more to Olivia Atwater's charming, magical version of Regency England.

What did I think?

Longshadow is the third book in the wonderful Regency Faerie Tales series and I enjoyed it as much as the two previous novels, although this instalment is a little different as there is an LGBTQ+ element that transforms it into a queer faerie tale.

I love how the characters from the previous novels appear in Longshadow and I really did benefit from reading them one after the other as they were still fresh in my mind, although you could definitely read Longshadow (and the other novels) as a standalone.  A 'Dramatis Personae' is included at the start of the book to give a brief and entertaining bio of each character.

A spate of inexplicable deaths has an air of dark magic about them and Abigail, daughter of the Lord Sorcier, is determined to get to the bottom of it.  Her magic may not be enough to fight whatever is hunting young ladies but she joins forces with a mysterious stranger called Mercy and together their magic is a force to be reckoned with.

The magical element of the plot is stunning and the developing relationship between Abigail and Mercy is beautifully written.  Abigail's confusion over her feelings is portrayed sensitively, especially as she is living in an era when being attracted to the same sex would make ladies faint.

Olivia Atwater has stunningly mixed life in Regency England with the faerie realm and the glitz and glamour of society balls sprinkled with magic makes Longshadow hugely entertaining from start to finish.  This is an adult faerie tale for the 21st century and I highly recommend Longshadow and the whole Regency Faerie Tales series.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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