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Title: A Dark and Hollow Star
Author: Ashley Shuttleworth
Publisher: Simon & Schulster CA
Genre: High Fantasy |Urban Fantasy|LGBTQ+
Publication Date: February 23, 2021
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“No, no, no – we’re not on the same team. I’m no hero! Just because I’m not running around turning kids into stones doesn’t mean I’m a fine upstanding citizen like Red and Prince Charmless here, and … I don’t know, what fairy-tale character do you want to be Aurelian?”
Aurelian cut her a death glare.
“And fucking Grumpy…”Nausicaä
A Dark and Hollow Star Synopsis
Choose your player.
The “ironborn” half-fae outcast of her royal fae family.
A tempestuous Fury, exiled to earth from the Immortal Realm and hellbent on revenge.
A dutiful fae prince, determined to earn his place on the throne.
The prince’s brooding guardian, burdened with a terrible secret.
For centuries, the Eight Courts of Folk have lived among us, concealed by magic and bound by law to do no harm to humans. This arrangement has long kept peace in the Courts—until a series of gruesome and ritualistic murders rocks the city of Toronto and threatens to expose faeries to the human world.
Four queer teens, each who hold a key piece of the truth behind these murders, must form a tenuous alliance in their effort to track down the mysterious killer behind these crimes. If they fail, they risk the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a war brewing between the Mortal and Immortal Realms, and one of these teens is destined to tip the scales. The only question is: which way?
Wish them luck. They’re going to need it.
A Dark and Hollow Star Review
I loved this book! First off, I want to say that the LGBTQ+ representation in this novel is amazing and extremely well written. The only reason I am not giving the book 5 stars is my hatred of one of the tropes used in this novel. Other than that, this book has everything I love in fantasy novels, mystery, magic, sarcasm, and fae, what else do you need?
The prologue opens up to an introduction of Hero, an ironborn who’s magic has been bound by the Council, being approached by a mysterious man who says that he can fix his magic. Then, the POV changes and we are slowly introduced to our main group of characters. Arlo, Nausicaa, Vehan and Aurelian. The story is told through all of their perspectives and each play an important role in solving the mystery of why someone is targeting and killing Ironborn children and teens.
Arlo, the 18 year old ironborn half-fae outcast of her royal fae family, is the one character that I don’t like. She is the “Bella Swan”. She isn’t anything special and no one pays attention to her. She is unsure of herself and super indecisive. Although she does have moments of decisiveness and “braveness” throughout the book. She was not my favourite character POV to read through. Nausicaa is a tempestuous Fury, exiled to earth from the Immortal Realm and hellbent on revenge. Until she is forced to get involved in this mystery. She is not a good person. She does things for herself and to make the Immortals regret not Destroying her when they had the chance. She is strong, fierce and the sarcasm rolls off of her. She’s someone you want on your side and not to have scorned. Vehan, the dutiful prince of Sidhe Summer, is determined to earn his place on the throne and prove himself to his mother, Queen Rhiadne. He is sweet, valiant, and noble, but he loves too much and too deeply, especially for his former best friend made Steward Aurelian. Aurelian is the prince’s brooding guardian and former best friend, burdened with a terrible secret is the typical I put up a don’t care front because I care too much bad boy. Leishde and foreign, This tattooed man is anything but the typical steward that the Sidhe Summer court expected. These four are all brought together by the murders of the ironborn teens and the group dynamics and sarcasm are to die for.
This plot is original, setting up for the continuation of the series, and the pacing is great. If you love Shadowhunters and the Folk of the Air series, you will definitely love this Urban Fantasy. I will definitely be on the look out for information on the next book in A Dark and Hollow Star series after this one is published on February 23.
I would like to thank NetGalley, Simon and Schuster CA and Ashley Shuttleworth for sending me a free copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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About Ashley Shuttleworth
Ashley Shuttleworth was born in Chilliwack, British Colombia and currently lives in Ontario. They have a BA (Hons) in English Literature, and spent some time after uni living and teaching in Seoul, South Korea. When they aren’t reading or writing, their favourite pastimes are: playing video games (particularly Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and Zelda), watching anime & k-dramas, and piecing together cosplays for conventions. They also like long walks through quiet forests and know far too much about wine.
Their cat, Zack Fair, is roughly the size of a miniature panther and eats better than they do.
A Dark and Hollow Star Series
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