I recently read Twelve Days of Faery by W. R. Gingell and loved it. When I went to mark it as read on GoodReads, I was shocked to find it didn’t have any reviews up yet. This was a total “What in the Sam Heck?” indie author moment for me. Good book, no reviews? So of course I wrote a review. And I’m sharing it everywhere. And while this novella is not trying to be deep and complex, it is fun and light and intelligently written and I had a ball reading it. So, without further ado, here is Twelve Days of Faery.
King Markon of Montalier is at the end of his tether. His son, Prince Parrin, is afflicted with a rather nasty curse that slaughters, maims, or brutally attacks any woman with whom he so much as flirts. After the rumour that sweeps around the kingdom, promising that any woman breaking the ‘curse’ will be eligible to marry the prince, there is no shortage of willing volunteers. Unfortunately, there is also no shortage of bodies piling up.
Markon needs to do something, but what? Can a visiting enchantress from Avernse help, or is she simply another accident waiting to happen? And will Markon be able to give her up to his son if she does break the curse?
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A fun, intriguing, puzzle-box of a story. Oh, I loved this read. First off, standing ovation for a story told from the male POV (King Markon, who is not young, dashing, and full of passion, but actually turns out to be older, able to dash quite fast upon demand, and both practical and passionate) that also stars an extremely clever, fast-thinking and capable young-ish woman (enchantress!) who really, really carries the story. Oh my goodness, I *loved* Althea. Talk about smart, spunky, and doesn’t do random dumb things to forward the plot. She comes from a scarred past, but she’s impressively resilient and I so, so want to read more about her. Sadly, although this is a series, it looks like each book features a different set of characters. However, since our characters do retrieve a shard of two of the broken sword which the series must take its name from, I hold out hope that at some point there will be a massive character reunion and I’ll at least get to see Markon and Althea one last time.
Okay, sorry, I’ll focus on the story itself. So, the love interests of Prince Parrin have been dropping like flies, and good old dad, King Markon, has spent the last two years trying to find someone or something that can break the curse on his son. With a cursed heir, the succession of the crown is in jeopardy. Also, he feels pretty bad for his son. And really awful about all the girls who’ve suffered because of him. Just as Markon is deciding to call it quits, declare another heir, and–well, he still doesn’t want to wall Parrin off from the world–Althea shows up to break the curse. Markon does not precisely give her permission to make the attempt, but Althea goes right ahead and works her way into the thick of things before he knows what to expect. But everything she does, however risky, is a considered risk, and she typically has a trick up her sleeve to handle it. Markon finds himself tagging along as they track down the source of the magical “curse” which seems to have something to do with fae magic… But why would the fae be involved? Is it really the fae or someone who has a hold on them? And what would that hold be?
This story took so many twists and turns, even though I figure out the arch villains halfway through, the how and the why kept me guessing. I’ll admit to wishing one of the baddies, a bit lower down on the totem pole but of great import, had had a bit more depth and intelligence to her. I tend to find the vehement, angry, self-serving villains not quite so persuasive. Then again, she was a tool for others, so I suppose that works. Depth and intelligence would not have made her a particularly good tool. Note also that this is somewhat light-hearted in the sense that, while dark stuff happens, this book is not filled with deep themes and emotional turmoil. It’s fast, and fun, and I laughed out loud at least twice.
This is my first by Ms. Gingell, but I immediately pre-ordered the next book in the series when I finished it. How does this book not have more ratings and reviews? I can admit that I wasn’t drawn in by the cover (nope) and the title made me wonder if this was a spin-off of a Christmas story (nope), but I have never been more glad that I actually read the blurb and then the sample. Go get this story now! You won’t regret it.
Overall, a solid 4.5 stars.
About the Author:
W.R. Gingell is a Tasmanian author who lives in a house with a green door. She spends her time reading, drinking an inordinate amount of tea, and slouching in front of the fire to write. Like Peter Pan, she never really grew up, and is still occasionally to be found climbing trees.