‘A Feather So Black’: well, that was a letdown…

April 17, 2024

TITLE: A Feather So Black (Fair Folk, #1)
AUTHOR: Lyra Selene
GENRE: Fantasy
PAGES: 512pg
PUBLISHER: Orbit Books

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 alone: 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.

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DNF @ pg 300

A Feather So Black was one of my most anticipated releases of 2024, and I’m so sad to say that it was quite the disappointment. This book had so many ingredients I love: dark fantasy vibes, political intrigue, fae folklore, romance, a brooding Shadow Daddy… and yet, none of those things were capable of overcoming the fact that this book is far too long, packed with filler material and repetitive internal monologue, and the chemistry between any of these characters is non-existent.

I made it through 300 pages of this book and it was an absolute chore to get that far. Once I accepted the fact that nothing happening in the final 200 pages was going to make up for how bored I was, I decided to throw in the towel. This story would have worked much better as a shorter novel (maybe 300-350 pages), and minus the singular slightly explicit scene I read by the point I left off, it should have been marketed as a YA fantasy novel. The characters read very young and aside from that one brief scene, the “spice” I keep seeing mentioned in this book’s marketing and reviews was mostly absent.

I would definitely try a future release from this author, but I don’t have any interest in picking this book back up or continuing the series at this time.

Buddy read with Misty!

Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy! All thoughts are honest and my own.

Standard DNF rating/review disclaimer: I only mark DNFed titles as “read” and/or give them star ratings if I read enough of the book to feel justified in doing so.

content warnings →
WARNINGS (click to expand):

kidnapping, threats of murder, brief moments of violence and bloodshed, betrayal, infidelity, frequent usage of the word “wh*re”

representation →



More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

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