A Feather So Black by Lyra Selene – Book Review

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I was made of earth and sky and endless waters. I was made to be loved fully, or not at all.

Goodreads / Storygraph

Summary from Goodreads

In a kingdom where magic has been lost, Fia is a rare changeling, left behind by the wicked Fair Folk when they stole the High Queen’s daughter and retreated behind the locked gates of Tír na nÓg.

Most despise Fia’s fae blood. But the queen raises her as a daughter and trains her to be a spy. Meanwhile, the real princess Eala is bound to Tír na nÓg, cursed to become a swan by day and only returning to her true form at night.

When a hidden gate to the realm is discovered, Fia is tasked by the queen to retrieve the princess and break her curse. But she doesn’t go with her is prince Rogan, Fia’s dearest childhood friend—and Eala’s betrothed.

As they journey through the forests of the Folk, where magic winds through the roots of the trees and beauty can be a deadly illusion, Fia’s mission is complicated by her feelings for the prince…and her unexpected attraction to the dark-hearted fae lord holding Eala captive. Irian might be more monster than man, but he seems to understand Fia in a way no one ever has.

Soon, Fia begins to question the truth of her mission. But time is running out to break her sister’s curse. And unraveling the secrets of the past might destroy everything she has come to love.

Thoughts on the Plot

The world in this book is incredibly interesting and our main character, Fia, is set out on a quest. 

While I am neither for nor against quest tropes, the quest trope in this book didn’t overpower the actual plot and other happenings in this book. 

There was a lot of magic and intrigue and I liked exploring magic alongside Fia, who is raised as a changeling, never really got to know her own magic. 

One of the things I really struggled with was that this book was so hard to get into. The story didn’t really pick up until around 30% and I wasn’t fully interested in the story until 50% in.

Which is kinda bad. 

Once I was interested, however, the plot began to become so much more than just Fia needing to save Princess Eala from the Fae lands. 

The pacing in this book was also a little weird. It made me wonder how much Fia and Rogan (one third of our love triangle I’ll get into in a minute) really cared about their mission. 

They could only cross into the Fae lands during the full moon once a month and they would remain there for quite a while. I think this book spanned a year, or nearly a year before the story finished. 

The urgency absolutely was not there, despite the human Queen also dealing with a war. 

Though this was kinda mute as I was more fascinated by other elements of the story. Like Fia’s love triangle. 

Thoughts on the Characters

Our main character Fia, is half human and half fae, and was raised as a changeling by the human Queen.

The human Queen whose own daughter was kidnapped by the Fae and who Fia is tasked with retrieving.

Fia begins her quest with Rogan, her childhood best friend turned temporary lover. 

Fia and Rogan have an interesting dynamic. They are very, “will they? Won’t they?” Until the cycle finally comes to a frustrating end. 

Speaking of the end, the end of this book felt so incredibly rushed. I wanted to see the fallout, and it felt just kinda glazed over.

In the Fae lands, we meet Irian, our dark and mysterious second love interest. 

The love triangle wasn’t drawn out, and I appreciated that when Fia finally made up her mind, that was that. 

Rogan, I found to be rather annoying and holier than thou. Someone reviewed this book and compared Rogan to Tamlin, and I can’t disagree. 

Irian, on the other hand, was right up my Shadow Daddy alley. But more than that, I love how he pushed Fia and encouraged her. 

The human queen and her right-hand man were beyond annoying. I skipped the majority of the scenes with them involved. 

Princess Eala was also quite a surprising character. She was incredibly duplicitous and conniving and her actions at the end of the book were shocking. 

There was also a lot more spice in this book than I thought there would be. I know it is considered a Fantasy Romance, but the spice was in line with A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas, Viciously Yours by Jamie Applegate Hunter, and Throne of the Fallen by Kerri Maniscalco

(So in other words, for those who might not have read those, pretty spicy! 🌶️)

Overall Thoughts

I received this book as an arc copy, so thank you to Orbit Books and Netgalley for sending me a copy prior to its publication! 

The first time I read this book, there was a lot I missed. So I re-read it and found that I enjoyed it quite more on the second read through. 

I loved Fia’s relationship with Irian and her character development by the end of the book. 

If anything, I wish this book hadn’t been so absolutely hard to get into. I also disliked most of the characters. 

But I am now invested and am looking forward to the second book in this series. 

A solid 4 stars out of 5 stars from me. 

You Might Also Like: A Court of Thorns and Roses // Throne of the Fallen

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