The fae are fickle, wicked things—and the worst thing a human can do in their presence is be interesting...
Characters: ★★★ 1/2
Sense of mystery: ★★★★
Romance: ★★★ 1/2
Tropes: why choose, male/female pairing, unreliable narrator, multiple love interests, faeries, deadly game/competition, primal(ish), morally grey, enemies-to-lovers, slowwww burn, unresolved mysteries in first book.
As a Holly Black, Melissa Marr, and OG faerie reader, I like my fae the old way. I want them to be unable to lie but viciously able to talk circles around their truths. I want them to be inhumanly powerful and jaded by their long lives to the point where normal moralities have left them. I want them to have personalities and jawlines sharp enough to cut a knife. I want them to feel undomesticated and wild, like a predator that you know you shouldn't bring inside your home.
(I don't think these things are too much to ask.)
Wilde Fae delivers on THOSE kind of fae. And I was so here for it.
There are no wings here, no shadow daddies, no "I'm big and tough but yet still somehow super empathetic". (There's nothing wrong with those traits, I hold them as my precious in their time and place.) The fae men of this novel are actually dangerous, they do not care if you make it to the end of the night, and the only thing that truly terrifies them is boredom.
So for our main character, Lonnie, the true terror she deals with is this: she's interesting.
Lonnie is interesting to the fae every day, due to some odd spark in her aura that she's terrified to acknowledge. Being interesting is already bad enough—but when one fateful night leads to a shocking outcome, Lonnie finds herself in a whole new realm of unwelcome fae attention. Specifically, the attention of the ruling fae family: the Everlast. And it's a toss up on whether she's going to survive to the end.
The wicked brothers of the Everlast family all have different reasons to hate Lonnie. But due to the bindings of their house and the situation Lonnie finds herself in, they can't end her... yet.
Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer...
Clearly, I loved this novel and had a lot of fun reading. Here are some specific, non-spoiler reasons why:
- The slowest of slow burns. It's rare to have a fae-based romantasy where the characters build their tension in a realistic time frame. I loved that this novel didn't speed things up to fit anything into this first book in the series.
- The unresolved mysteries. The fae and Lonnie are all holding their own secrets, and again, in a unique turn of events this novel does not reveal any of them. I'm hooked on the unknown, and I'm thrilled that these questions are propelling us into the second book without a ton of hasty reveals.
- Not bogging the reader down with dense descriptions. I'll repeat, I'm a fan of Holly Black. Which means I'm a fan of a story that is plot first, dialogue second, and descriptions third. I can set the scene myself with the colors of the room and the outfits and the set decor and etc.—give me the action elements, as that's what I want. This novel danced that line perfectly.
- And again, for the people in the back, the depictions of the fae. I enjoyed the commitment to their fickle, vicious natures. Lonnie's never actually safe, which makes sense due to the setup. But there are enough crumbs there for a us romance girlies that keeps this story from being a dark/grim romance. This is NOT a non-con/dub-con scenario, it's just a morally grey setup with some dangerous players.
Amy Imogene Reads
Just someone looking for her own door into Wonderland.