Another Indie Book Spotlight is upon us!
Who knew a king being overwhelmed with paperwork would be so endearing?
On the surface, Twelve Days of Faery is the story of a beleaguered king caught up in the dangerous realm of Faery when a peculiar enchantress arrives, claiming she can break the curse on King Markon’s son. Thanks to this said and so-called curse, a woman cannot even wink at the young prince without something terrible befalling her. And the one whose hair vanished got off easy; the outcomes are only getting worse.
This means Markon has two problems: Althea’s contract says she’ll eventually be made queen if she can stop the attacks, and Markon is steadily falling in love with her even as she grows closer to his son.
Twelve Days of Faery can be violent (but not excessively, in my opinion), and there’s no shortage of wicked, scheming characters. But thanks to off-beat enchantress Althea and procrastinating-on-royal-paperwork Markon, it’s a complete delight. A quirky one, too!
“There’s a world of meaning in the almost-saids of the worlds.” – W.R. Gingell, Twelve Days of Faery
The wonderful characters are what makes the book, and the procedural-style structure also kept me binge-reading. Each day in the story is a day in Althea’s investigation. It doesn’t hurt that Markon is actually likeable, either. It’s hard not to root for him, and he’s just plain refreshing after the scheming royals in, well, almost everything.
As for Althea, she’s a bit like the character Luck in another book by Gingell, Spindle [find my review here], but is more self-possessed, less dotty and more aloof. While Luck (who has the same magical talents as Althea) practically makes a catchphrase out of the word “huh,” Althea’s catchphrase should be “I found something.” She’s Sherlock to Markon’s overwhelmed Watson.
Althea is also a faery-changeling who grew up and was able to escape the faery world. That is one interesting backstory.
The romance in Twelve Days of Faery is approached from a refreshingly mature angle, too. Markon is older, dignified and sensible. He approaches his growing feelings for Althea just how a person with those traits would, even though he’s sure things aren’t about to go his way.
Though the world of Faery settings (Seelie and Unseelie) were creative, the descriptions were a bit loosely sketched at times. Still, it was fun, zany and scary all at once as Markon marched into unfamiliar territory, following the magical clues toward the culprit.
This short book is well-thought out, creative and 100% enjoyable. I plan to pick up the sequel as soon as my lengthy TBR list allows, because it’s the perfect pick-me-up (wordplay alert! Don’t worry, the humor in Twelve Days of Faery is a lot more sophisticated than that—and not a small amount quirky). Funny, refreshing and great characters (plus a sizeable dash of mystery) will always equal five stars for me. If you like those things, faery, and portals into another world, you’ll love this book, too.