The King of Faerie

(Stariel #4)

by A.J. Lancaster

Last December I read the first in this romantic magic/fae alternate Britain story and it hit some nice spots in my pandemic hunger for escapist fantasy.

The author ties up much of the main problems Hetta faces a a Lord of her combined faeland/Prydein estate introduced in the first book: acceptance among other mortal lords, the fate of the faeland her romantic interest Wyn is from, the mystery of where Wyn’s siblings are coupled with why no one can remember their mother, and how to get permission to marry before Hetta’s …um…increasing state becomes obvious to everyone.

There’s also some side-development with Marius, Hetta’s older brother, and Wyn’s older brother Rakken that, despite this being the final book of the series, the author promises to explore in another book.

One of my major frustrations with this author’s style is that she introduces major issues that the characters kind of just postpone to do other things first. While there’s a little of that here, this story makes the postponements a bit more believable. There’s major stuff going down here, not only Hetta’s worry about her child, but also impending fae-mortal world issues. The “danger” scenes are still a bit vague (there’s a fight with some leviathans that I never really figured out and couldn’t really picture at all) but really I’m reading this for Wyn and Hetta’s relationship and that was lovely. Very low level of steam here, lots of vague summarizing after the fact, but the romantic tension as both worry how their differences will affect the other was nice.

Very satisfying conclusion with no major damage and a few secrets revealed.