Titania rose to her feet. ‘What is going on here, Peaseblossom?’ she demanded.
I bowed to her. ‘I apologise, Your Majesty. But I’d rather be known as Pete.’
‘Pete?’ She frowned. ‘That’s no name for a fairy.’
‘No, it isn’t, ‘ I said, meeting her eyes.
At court, he’s known as Peaseblossom, a servant to the Fairy Queen.
But as Pete, he prefers pizza to sugarplums and denim to daffodils. He wants to choose his own life too. But how can he when a fairy’s sole duty is to obey the all-powerful Queen Titania?
This is Shakespeare’s popular and delightful comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream with an added army of Amazons, a sea serpent and a selkie called Gaela, who luckily for Pete makes the best pizza in the world.
It is also a story of the intrigues of the Fairy Court, of vampire plots to dominate the world and of impossible loves that might just come true. Not by enchantment, but when two hearts thread together, making a magic of their own.
I was quite excited to read this book as it was pitched as a “A mid-summer night’s dream” retelling. The story was quick to read and the transition between fae world and real world was particularly interesting however the story traveled at the same pace from beginning to end. It didn’t have the peaks and troughs that most books have, this remained the same throughout the entire book. If you’re looking for a book that grabs you with intensity, this isn’t it.. This book is something you would read to bridge gaps between reads or when you need something light to read after a draining day. It was funny and it was interesting, the dialogue was funny. I also enjoyed the Shakespearean references which reinforces this is a Shakespeare retelling and I would recommend this to readers as young as 10 years old.
Special thanks to Harper Collins Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home. When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.
I was hooked into this story by the end of the second chapter.
I got attached to some of the characters. Okay, I might’ve teared up a bit when Puck got injured and Meghan had to leave him behind to heal and wake up (beside the point that he was left with other fey).
Meghan goes through a psychological journey, as well as an inner journey where she learns who and what she is…
All I have to do now is find the second book in the series!!
Blurb as seen on Goodreads
16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad. Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way. Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear. With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever
My Thoughts How to do justice with this review of ‘The Last of the Firedrakes’. I don’t know if I have the words. I’m going to be dreaming about this world for a long time to come. Aurora grows as a character. As she learns about her world, family and of those around her. She won’t step aside if one of her friends is getting picked on.
I had the pleasure of meeting Brittany at the Allen and Unwin YA Fan Fest in 2016. When Brittany told me she published her first book, I was most excited to read it… And did not disappoint!!! Having read this book, I can highly recommend it to fans of mythology, folklore, fae and YA urban fantasy. Brittany gave me a copy of her book and once I read it, I managed to do a quick Q&A with her to share with you all..
Enchantment The protagonist is Elise Dawson and she has led a pretty sheltered life being home-schooled and protected by her parents from the suspicious eyes of the world. Like thousands of others, the Dawsons are the descendants of the UndeAdlic Acolitus, or Immortal Lightbearers–a subspecies of faerie with only one enemy: the Banshees – an evil version of the Lightbearers however, Elise has no idea who she is, what her power or destiny is as she feels suffocated under the overbearing protection of her parents. Little does she know she is the descendant of the first water elemental, Lennox Henderson, and that she has the ability to control all water sources on Earth. This is a story of a young woman who discovers her true identity and must choose between her destiny as an elemental or someone who should be her enemy.
Again, I recommend this for fans of YA fantasy/urban fantasy fiction who like reading about elementals and fae. The book is very well written and I was gripped from the prologue right to the end – it’s very easy to read and the suspense keeps you hanging, wanting to know what will happen next. The family dynamic and friendship was illustrated very well and I also like how the author illustrated the initial meeting between unlikely allies: Elise and Christian- their initial meeting and continued interaction, I found, set itself apart from other YA characters interaction, it wasn’t so cliché. The characters and the storyline progressed quite well and the structure was very easy to understand and follow. A great debut novel!!!
Special thanks to author, Brittany Riley, for giving me a copy of her debut novel in exchange for my honest review…
Exclusive Q&A with author Brittany Riley
Your debut novel, “Enchantment” was published in 2016. What was your inspiration to write your first novel? I actually come up with the idea when I was in high school. I’m not sure of the exact ‘lightbulb’ moment, but I remember sitting in class and getting excited over the opportunity to see this idea through. Mind you, it was a very different version back then, in almost every respect. It was only over the following years that I fully developed the storyline, characters, cliff-hangers and aspirations for worldwide publication.
Is there any particular reason you chose fantasy fiction as the genre for your debut novel? I’ve always been obsessed with fairy tales and magic. Even as a child, my favourite creatures were fairies. I guess the most amazing thing about writing and even Y.A is that I can explore these concepts while adding my own dark, personal twist.
How did you come up with the characters and their interaction? I liked Elise’s interaction with Christian throughout the story – I guess forbidden fruit is always interesting… I wanted to be different in how my characters came together and interacted. I didn’t want my book to be your average fairy tale, because too often, even in real life, love stories are messy and beautiful and catastrophic all at once. I’ve always loved the idea of forbidden fruit; it’s far sweeter. I think Christian and Elise’s love story is very different from all the rest.
I found “Enchantment” touches on real life themes such as family relations – when Elise is struggling to understand her parent’s decisions which they believe are in her best interests but with limited to no context of these decisions, Elise felt so suffocated and tempted to rebel, were these sorts of themes inspired by real life stories you may have heard or even experienced yourself? I personally have never felt Elise’s level of suffocation, but I think the concept of constriction, in whatever context, can relate to many people on many levels. I empathise with both Elise and her parents in a way, because I know if it was my child I would want to protect them, but if I was put in Elise’s positon, I’d be frustrated beyond comprehension too. It’s a fine balancing act between what’s “right and wrong” and how these definitions differ in the eyes of those around you.
It looks like a lot of research went into your novel – I liked how there is a lot of information presented in the book so the reader can read exactly what Elise was reading when she was researching her history – without revealing ‘trade secrets’ how did you go about your research? I’ve always loved European history, so it was actually fun to write! I had to find a medium between factual and fantastical to suit the story. Obviously Elise was in need of information about her own identity and the audience needed context because it was the first book, so I thought this particular presentation of information was the best option.
I won’t give anything away other than – at the end of the book, I felt it was a bit of a cliff hanger… will we see a sequel? When? I’m working on the sequel as we speak, however, I still have a day job and need to dedicate time to that as well. In terms of release date and publication, I am currently querying agents so I can get the book/TV deal I’ve always dreamed of! I’m hoping doors of opportunity open soon so everyone can immerse themselves in my books on a far larger scale!
There are five books in the series. I know exactly how each goes and how the whole story ends, and believe me when I say there is a whole lot of love, heartbreak, scandal and breathtaking moments to come in the series!
When you’re not writing, what could we find you doing? I love coffee, so you’ll generally find me at cafes watching the world go by. I’m very close to my family as well, so I love spending time with my mum at the gym or shopping. I love watching TV series too, especially Shadowhunters, Reign, Pretty Little Liars and The Vampire Diaries; anything Y.A based, really. I find it inspiring as I want a TV adaption for my own series one day. Apart from all these activities, I love scrolling through Facebook and Twitter and finding inspiring stories, writing quotes and opportunities for discovery.
Do you enjoy reading yourself? What genre/s do you enjoy? I do love reading, and I’m not sure whether it’s because I’m a Y.A writer myself or my age, but I rarely read anything that isn’t Y.A. I love Becca Fitzpatrick and Fleur Ferris, and any author that can transport me to another exciting, heart-pounding universe.
How can readers contact you or get hold of a copy of “Enchantment?” My website contains all the relevant information! It’s: http://www.brittanyrileyauthor.com. I also have a Facebook page (Brittany Riley – YA Author), Twitter page (@brileyauthor) and a few other social media links. My website has specific links to all the online stores where my book is available! I love seeing comments from readers and am aiming to continue building my online presence.