In exchange for an honest review, I received a free eARC copy of Queen of Sea and Stars by Anna McKerrow, courtesy of NetGalley.
Book Blurb – Courtesy of NetGalley
As a child, Faye Morgan was always an outsider, shunned for the ancient and powerful magic that runs through her veins.
Ever since she was a little girl, growing up in the village of Abercolme on the wild coast of Scotland, Faye Morgan’s life has been steeped in the old ways – witchcraft, herbal lore and a blood connection to the dangerous and unpredictable world of Faerie.
But magic is both a gift and a burden, and Faye has more than paid the price of living between two worlds. Neither accepted by the villagers, nor welcome in the Faerie Kingdom of Murias after rebuffing the fickle and attractive Faerie warrior king, Finn Beatha, Faye runs from Abercolme, hoping to leave that life behind.
However, even in the twisted, cobbled streets of London, Faye finds her blood bond with Faerie won’t be broken. A Faerie War of the Elements is brewing and, though she doesn’t yet know it, Faye is fated to play a terrible part. If she is to survive, she must learn to embrace her own dark power and face Finn Beatha once more… but in doing so Faye will discover secrets in her own past that never should have been disturbed.
A gripping, magical, action-packed novel, perfect for fans of K.F. Breene’s Natural Witch, Shannon Mayer and Laini Taylor.
Queen of Sea and Stars can be read as a standalone.
First, there is a first book called Daughter of Light and Shadows, even though the blurb states Queen of Sea and Stars can be read as a standalone, Most of the time when authors or publishers state this, it’s because the author will usually do a brief summary in the book. I like getting the full story, however, so I went ahead and bought a copy of Daughter just so I can keep my stories straight.
Queen of Sea and Stars should not be read as a stand-alone. If I hadn’t read the first book, all of the references thrown into the first 15 or so chapters, kind of haphazardly, would be enough to get me to go ahead and stop and go read the first book. As someone who has read the first book, the haphazard references seem a little sloppy and annoying. I feel the author could have done away with those references and just encouraged her readers to just read the first book.
I will say that after slugging through the first 16 chapters, the story starts to get a little more interesting and we start to get into a typical fantasy storyline where prophecy and sacrifice takes hold.
What I Liked
1) I honestly loved the support characters in this novel more than those of the first novel. Gabriel and Ruby were a great support system for Faye. I mean, Annie was alright, but she kind of got on my nerves. Why was she the only one with a strong Scottish accent when the entire first novel took place in Scotland?
2) I enjoy reading about the Fae, the dark and the light sides of them.
What I Didn’t Like
1) While I love a good witch or Fae storyline, and I think that mixing them is fantastic, I don’t think it really worked for this story. Faye becoming involved with the Fae as she did just made her appear, to me at least, a weaker character. She continuously makes the same mistakes over and over again when it comes to the Fae and her love life, even if her intentions are pure. She really got on my nerves.
2) I think if this story would have focused more on a witch coming into her half-Fae heritage and purely learning from the Faerie queens instead of focusing on her love life, this would have been an incredible story. I’m not against romance, but I’m tired of love triangles and I honestly thought both Finn and Rav were terrible men and love interests. One was abusive and the other oblivious and negligent to Faye.
As much as I wanted to like this story, I really didn’t. I always hate saying that when reviewing books, especially when I know how much work, energy, and love goes into a story. But I also want to be honest. I definitely enjoyed the characters Gabriel and Ruby more than any other character in the story, but I really didn’t care for the others. I wanted to smack Faye up against the head for her choices and tell her to just forget about men and just be a strong woman.
I rated the first book, Daughter of Light and Shadows 3 stars in Goodreads. Honestly, I don’t feel that Queen of Sea and Stars was any better. I will give this one 3 stars since it did become more interesting after chapter 16 and I loved the London Coven, Gabriel, and Ruby. I don’t think I’ll pick up the next book of this series though if there is one.
I’ve got a few more books to read and review over the coming weeks/months due to some unforeseen motivation on my part. I hope to have another review out to my fellow book lovers soon!!
Until next time!