I'm a beginning fantasy writer. My favorite genre is fantasy and science fiction. I'm currently on a young adult kick.
I won my first book to review from Netgalley!
THE LAST CHANGELING by Chelsea Pitcher
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pre-order from Amazon
Parental Rating: 12 and up. Mild Swearing and teenage ‘making out’.
The faerie Elora is trying to start a rebellion against her mother the Dark Queen, but to overthrow a millennium old faerie she needs the Bright Queen’s help. The Bright Queen sets her a riddle, asking Elora to bring her a human offering. Elora travels to the human world, having only heard bad things about humans. She meets a human high-schooler named Taylor who lets her stay at his house. (She tells him to call him Lora, which is the name she mostly goes by in the book.)
The book is told from the perspectives of both Lora and Taylor. At the beginning Lora has a poetic voice and makes her seem more otherworldly, but as she assimilates to the human world she talks more normally. There were a couple of instances where Taylor sounded like Lora, too poetic for a normal teenage boy, but overall the characters were realistic and distinct. Though they were both told in first person I didn't confuse the two.
The characters were the stars of the story. I genuinely liked both of the main characters, which isn’t always the case for me. The romance between them was gradual and felt natural. It was a sweet realistic romance. The side characters were just as good as the main characters and the friendships blossomed at a realistic pace the same way the relationship did.
Taylor and Lora gradually grow to trust one another and it makes them both better people. The change in their personalities is gradual and well done. They’ve both had a rough family life and they both have their secrets. They slowly open up to one another, and it felt like they would actually reveal these closely guarded secrets. Lora’s tells her story to Taylor as a nightly ‘fairy tale’. Since there is a lot of back story, this was a good way to do it without being boring.
Though there is plenty of magic in this book and excitement at the end, most of the book isn’t fast paced. That doesn’t mean it’s boring, not in the least. The Last Changeling mostly takes place in a modern high school and romance plays a large part of the story. Normally this wouldn’t sound like my kind of book, but I really enjoyed it! There’s the normal teenage stuff, but it’s handled well and Lora is so different it’s fun to see through her eyes and watch her navigate the human world.
The world of the faerie has been done so many times, but the author still creates her own unique mythology. Like most fairies, those in Last Changeling can’t lie outright, are hurt by iron, and use glamours. (They also have wings, which I thought was the best part!) There isn't too much magic in the book, but what was there was imaginative and just plain cool.
There wasn’t a to be continued ending, which I appreciated, but there’s certainly more to come. (At least I hope there is!) I would’ve appreciated if one question had been answered though. (I can’t say what it was without spoilers.)
I plan to buy The Last Changeling when it’s released and would highly recommend it.