Sunday, November 28, 2021

A Fairy Tale (Fairy Tale #1), by Shanna Swendson (author), Suzy Jackson (narrator)

Audible Audio, December 2014

Sophie Drake used to dance with the faeries in the woods behind her grandparents' house. Then the fae tried to steal her little sister, Emily, and Sophie rescued her sister and turned her back on Faerie forever.

Fourteen years later, Emily has left Louisiana for New York City and an acting career. She's just had a huge break; working as the understudy for the lead, she gets her chance when the lead has to pull out. She's a hit, and after that night's closing curtain, she and a few friends go out to celebrate. Along the way, they meet a guy named Eamon (my best guess at spelling, since I listened to the audio), and somehow it seems perfectly normal when he tags along with them. They wind up in Central Park at some point, and the next day, Emily's friends eventually work out that that's the last time they saw her.

Emily has been lured off to Faerie. Sophie, with an ability she's had since childhood, to know when there's Trouble and she's needed, arrives in New York, having left Louisiana before anyone in New York realized Emily was missing.

Sophie meets Emily's friends, starting with her upstairs neighbor, Michael, who is a cop out on medical leave due to a line-of-duty injury. He was dogsitting for Emily's bulldog, Beau, and has the key to her apartment, so that they can check to confirm Emily isn't there, passed out, ill, or worse. Sophie has good reason to be sure she isn't, but she can't say that, to Michael or to the on-duty det ective who responds, of course.

Meanwhile, Emily is in Faerie, being taken by her kidnapper to the person who ordered her kidnapping--Maeve, the wannabe Queen of Faerie.

The last Queen of Faerie disappeared long ago, and Faerie is slowly dying due to the lack of its Queen. Yet Maeve is everything that's wrong about Faerie--beautiful, but fake, cold, and destructive, the things that make the Fae dangerous to humans. Yet that's not all that Faerie is. Eamon, for instance, is no supporter of Maeve, and starts to have serious doubts about the wisdom of having done her this favor, as he starts to realize what her plan is.

Maeve means to make herself Queen of Faerie, to find the palace and the throne that have been closed off and hidden since the last Queen left. For this, she thinks the crucial information she needs is held by, not Emily, but Sophie. But Sophie knows too much about Faerie's dangers, and couldn't be lured--except by the need to rescue Emily.

There are certainly places in the story where the writing isn't brilliant, and where some odd plotting decisions have been made. This is an interesting intertwining of Faerie, and the mythology of how to interact, or not interact, with the Fae, with our contemporary world. The worldbuilding is good, and there are interesting characters, several of whom grow more interesting as the story progresses.

It's important to note that Beau, the bulldog, is A Very Good Dog, and that that he not only survives the story, but makes valuable contributions along the way. Yes, I am a sucker for a good dog in a story.

Interesting, enjoyable, and I may look for more.

I bought this audiobook.

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