Fire and Bone (Otherborn, #1)
by Rachel A. Marks

Nice start to an Urban Fantasy series featuring 5 Houses of elemental Celtic-lore based fae (whose gods are Brighid, the Morrigan, Cernunnos, Llyr etc.) who live in a world dangerous to humans attended by pixie and vampire-like shade underlings.

Sage is an 18 year old street kids living in Los Angeles (the city landmarks don’t quite feature very much into the story enough to lift it beyond “general city” feeling). One night she is invited to a party by her friend, and is more or less kidnapped by one of the powerful demigods– children born of human and one of the gods– as it turns out she is also a demigod with powers hidden from herself.

Only the fae community won’t leave her alone now that she’s coming of age, she must choose a protector and a house to pledge allegiance to, only Sage is haunted by realistic dreams and while she feels safe with the ex-Cernunnos protector Faelan, she is drawn to the Morrigan’s Kiernan by deep seated feelings of recognition.

There’s quite a vivid backstory to these characters, which I appreciated. The magic is consistent and thought out with there definitely being a “cost” for magic which made sense. The pacing is quite slow in the first half of the book, only really becoming less ploddy when secrets about Sage and Kiernan’s pasts are revealed. In this world there is a shadowy, powerful guild they’re afraid of and so must follow rules, but this guild really doesn’t appear in this book, and the gods seem more powerful in general, so when folks seemed scared of going outside the lines, it didn’t ring true to me.

The other problem for me lay within the alternating Sage/Faelan POV. Sage’s voice is great, believable as a confused 18 year old, engaging, etc….but so is Faelan’s. I mean, Faelan’s felt exactly the same to me as Sage, such that in the first two pages of the POV switch I often had to flip back to the chapter heading to see whose POV I was in. Not quite what I would hope for in a centuries old, world weary broken Fae from Cernunnos wild house.

Still, I would follow along to the second book because of the intriguing secrets revealed in the latter half of the book that put a complicated spin on things…and because I do love me a dark prince and Kiernan (although slightly inconsistent between first couple of meetings with Sage and latter meetings) is a wonderfully drawn dark prince.