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It's difficult to find a husband in Regency England when you're a young lady with only half a soul.
Ever since she was cursed by a faerie, Theodora Ettings has had no sense of fear or embarrassment - a condition which makes her prone to accidental scandal. Dora hopes to be a quiet, sensible wallflower during the London Season - but when the strange, handsome and utterly uncouth Lord Sorcier discovers her condition, she is instead drawn into dangerous and peculiar faerie affairs.
If Dora's reputation can survive both her curse and her sudden connection with the least-liked man in all of high society, then she may yet reclaim her normal place in the world. . . but the longer Dora spends with Elias Wilder, the more she begins to suspect that one may indeed fall in love, even with only half a soul.
Bridgerton meets Howl's Moving Castle in this enchanting historical fantasy, where the only thing more meddlesome than faeries is a marriage-minded mother.
5 out of 5 (exceptional)
HALF A SOUL is the first book in the Regency Faerie Tales and I honestly can't wait to read more. This was a gentle story with some harsh life lessons for our main character, when she learns what war and workhouses are really like in a world where magic exists.
She -- Dora -- sees life through a slightly skewed lens as it is, being as a Faerie Lord stole half her soul when she was only a child. Since then, she struggles to feel emotions, apart from "long-tailed ones". Her cousin, Vanessa, is the only warmth in her life and she will do all she can to please her. This includes going to London, although Dora isn't sure she is going to help Vanessa's chances of finding a husband, or if she is going because of Vanessa's scheme to cure Dora. Either way, they end up in London, with the ton, and Dora has her own adventures whilst Vanessa is at the mercy of the matchmaking mothers.
I found Dora to be a heart-warming character who is aware of her own 'strangeness' but tries her best to fit in to please her cousin. I loved how she was truthful and direct, in a time when it was not fashionable to be so. Elias was the perfect foil for her. She didn't accept his rudeness or be put off by his temper, simply because she wasn't affected by it. Albert, and his mother, Lady Caraway, were jewels in this book and I loved every scene they were in. I was so happy for him!
Rightly or wrongly, I enjoy historical fiction as it is written. I have no idea if the dip of the neckline or the length of the hem is one hundred per cent accurate, and I don't really care. And if it is historically incorrect, so what? So long as the story fits together, and the inconsistencies remain the same throughout (now there's an oxymoron for you), that's all that concerns me.
I loved this story as it guided me along, all coming together nicely at the end. The epilogue was perfect. I sincerely hope to see more of this couple in future books. A fantastic start to a new series by a new-to-me author and absolutely recommended!
** same worded review will appear elsewhere **
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Olivia Atwater writes whimsical historical fantasy with a hint of satire. She lives in Montreal, Quebec with her fantastic, prose-inspiring husband and her two cats. When she told her second-grade history teacher that she wanted to work with history someday, she is fairly certain this isn't what either party had in mind. She has been, at various times, a historical re-enactor, a professional witch at a metaphysical supply store, a web developer, and a vending machine repairperson.
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