I was lucky to get my hands on an ARC of Alyxandra Harvey’s new book, Stolen Away. After writing about ghosts (Haunting Violet) and a modern-day vampire family (Drake Chronicles), the author now explodes the classic elements of Irish fairy tales. As a huge fairy tale fan I was quite excited and though the books may not be her best written one, the story is quite enchanting and has very engaging characters.
The beginning is bit slow and cryptic. I was wondering what is happening as weird people pop up and strange things happen. In addition the point of view alternates between Eloise and her friend Jo. I’m not a big friend of several POV’s in a book and I wished that there would have been only one here. Later in the book it became clearer to me why Jo got her own POV, but overall it made reading more confusing.
Eloise, one of the main characters, is a very quite girl. However not without cause there is the saying: Still water run deep. Eloise may not say a lot and prefers staying in the background, but when provoked she will transform into a very fierce creature. She is in general quite open-minded and very brave. When confronted with “real” faeries, she may not believe in them immediately but will be accepting soon enough. At the same time she vehemently fights her imprisonment by the evil faery king.
Eloise’s best friend, Jo, was an interesting paradox. On the one hand she is completely fixated on boys and does everything to make them interested in her. On the other hand she is also quite nerdy. And I mean this in the best possible way. She loves history and reading. Already because of this I love her. I wish Devin, the third in their little group of friends, would have gotten more of a profile. But unfortunately his character fell a bit flat.
And then there the “boys”. Both Jo and Eloise have soon gorgeous and, unfortunately, feuding fey admirers. I liked them both, though (or maybe because) they are very different. Lucas is the classic knight-in-shining-armour, literally! Whereas Eldric is darker, more conflicted, even a bit evil and at the same time very charming.
All these character carry the story as the plot isn’t overly complicated and sometimes almost predictable. Nevertheless I enjoyed reading this book a lot and wouldn’t put it down easily. If you like fairy tales and some charming young adult romance, you will love this book.
* review copy courtesy of publisher via NetGalley*