Book Review, Fantasy

Book review: The Fair Queen

The Fair Queen: A Young Adult Fantasy (The Fair Chronicles Book 1)

Lyndsey Hall | September 5, 2020

(Goodreads) | (Amazon)

Blurb:

The trees in Hartwood forest are hiding an ancient secret, a door into a magical realm where fairy princes and monsters are one and the same.

Seventeen-year-old Aria Colling is bored of her small town and dreams of a life filled with excitement and adventure. She’s about to learn you should be careful what you wish for.

After a chilling encounter at the local summer fair, Aria is ripped from her normal life and dragged through the Veil into the Fair Realm by a strange, silver-eyed boy and his band of fairy soldiers. They believe she is the legendary Fair Queen, the subject of a prophecy that promises to unite the war-ravaged realm and bring an end to the centuries-long conflict between the Five Kingdoms.

But it can’t be true.¬†Can it?

Beset by terrifying creatures at every turn, and hunted by a tyrannical king who will stop at nothing to prevent the prophecy from coming true, Aria will have to rely on her wits if she’s to escape the Fair Realm with her life.

My impression:

This story was captivating. Between the gorgeous prose and the beautifully described world and characters, I had difficulty putting this book down. I got so attached to the characters so quickly…. and I may have messaged the author directly after a certain thing happened because I was just so invested.

I was particularly fascinated by the solitary creatures and their origins. So much was familiar from mythology, yet just different enough to keep me guessing. The little hints of romance throughout were lovely, and it made me happy to see openly gay characters treated just the same with their romantic dalliances as the straight characters.

This book is for…

I highly recommend this book to fantasy lovers–you won’t regret it! It may be marketed for Young Adults but I’m 32 and I loved it. All ages would enjoy this read.

Click the links above for Amazon and Goodreads, or go straight to Lyndsey Hall’s website to check her out!

Fantasy, Order of the Hunt, The Wraith, Writing Process

The reasons behind the book

Everyone says, “I want to write a book.” They have different reasons behind it. Some want fortune, or fame. Some want to feel like their names will go down in history. Others write because they have something inside them–a story, a character, an emotion–and they have to get it out.

I’m in that last category.

As some of you may know, The Wraith’s Bargain has been rewritten many times over the years. My first draft in high school was actually named Queen’s Gambit. The second draft, and many after it, were simply called Order of the Hunt.

In each version of the book, I was working through a problem. I took comfort in familiar characters that I had based on real life friends. I shaped the plot for the characters to encounter different obstacles and to overcome them–from unhealthy relationships to financial struggles, from a struggle against evil to dipping their toes in. There was a whole section of the book that explored religious aspects of the series (which I ultimately dismissed) and the morality associated with recruiting to such a cause.

The current and final version of the book explores morality, the existence of absolute good and absolute evil, corruption, power, and control, and even a little bit of what makes a healthy or unhealthy relationship.

Mind you, not all of these are outright obvious in the first book. But as the series continues you’ll see more and the pieces will fit together.

So.. long story short. Why did I write this book?

I never really planned to publish. I wrote for my own enjoyment, for my own sort of therapy to work through different issues. And when I got to the end, I realized that it was a story I had to share with the world.

And I will be sharing it, June 28th. Hope to see you there.

Fantasy, freebie, Order of the Hunt, Writing Process

Cover Reveal! The Consequence

Hey Fam! How’s everything going? I’ve been a little quiet lately working behind the scenes. Here’s what I’ve accomplished in the last two weeks:

  • Almost finished formatting The Wraith’s Bargain for print
  • Commissioned and received a piece of art as a gift for those who pre-order
  • Sent off the last of the info to the cover artist so that can be completed
  • Began researching local author events for my area
  • Completed the third novella in the Order of the Hunt collection

So without further ado I give you the next free novella!

The Consequence

Some people know when things are too good to be true.

Annie was not one of those people, until now.

After joining an Order of demon hunters, things started going downhill fast. First, Will was attacked. Then Kat was kidnapped. Now things are starting to calm down, but Annie can’t help but to watch for the next pitfall. So when her brother begins spoiling for a fight, Annie takes things into her own hands.

It was a simple spell, with major consequences.

Now Annie has to face what she’s done to her friends and find a way out of the new mess they’re in–and fast. Before her brother pays for her mistake‚Ķ with his life.


Posting schedule: One chapter posted each Wednesday and Sunday beginning 2/19/20.

Here’s a link to the title page, though the first chapter won’t be posted for a few days. Follow me on Wattpad to get email updates or notifications when chapters are posted!

Friendly reminder: if you enjoy my writing, press the below button to have the first three chapters of The Wraith’s Bargain emailed to you free!

freebie, The Wraith

Freebie Alert!

Hey, fam.

I’ve been thinking, and I don’t know if I can wait until the summer to start sharing parts of The Wraith’s Bargain with you.

So… I’m giving out Chapter 1, for free. Just click the button below and I’ll email it to you!

Please keep in mind that it might change slightly by the time the book comes out.. I am still waiting on it to come back from the editor, after all. But, it introduces you to our protagonist, Dana, and what she’s living with that starts all of this mess.

Comment below or email me and tell me what you think! I’m excited to hear everyone’s reactions!

Fantasy, Order of the Hunt

Character Interview: Will Murphy

Hey, fam. In honor of The Strategist being posted this month, I thought I’d start doing some character interviews. I picked Will to go first, since he was the star of the first novella and it would be the least spoiler-y. I’d love to hear more questions that you’d be interested in asking the characters! I just came up with a few that might give a bit more insight into him as a person. I hope you enjoy!

What did you eat for breakfast today?

I don’t eat breakfast… I usually just get up and start my day, and have a snack if I get hungry before lunch.

Where do you live? Who with?

Depends when you’re asking about. In The First Stone, I lived in a rental house with Jeremy. His grandma owned the place and let us stay there for a little bit of our scholarship money. His sister Annie crashed there sometimes too, though she was still in high school. It’s kind of a crappy house to be honest, one story with three bedrooms and only a thousand square feet. Paint peeling on the outside, etc. But it was our own place and we liked it for that.

Later on, I ended up moving back into my parent’s house. They needed someone to watch it and do general upkeep while they moved to Florida. Really stereotypical if you ask me, but no one usually does…

How do you get around town?

Our town is blessed with public transportation, so we either walked or took the bus most places. In The Strategist, I ended up getting to use my dad’s old Chevy truck to cart us around town. I’m not a big fan of driving, but the freedom it gives you is worth it.

How would you describe yourself?

You mean physically? Or like, as a person. Cause those are different.

Well, I’m a tall guy. I’m actually even taller than Jeremy, but no one really notices because I slouch so much. I don’t know why I do it, but it feels more comfortable. I keep my hair short – it’s dark and kind of thick, and I have a goatee and mustache. I wear glasses and neutral colors most of the time.

As a person.. I’d say one word to describe me is ‘reserved’. And a bit of a nerd, I suppose. I had NASA bedsheets as a kid and I played Starcraft.

What’s the best gift you could receive?

Maybe a gift card, so I could download all of the games and music that I want.. the legal way. Or some really good earbuds.

How do you feel you changed from the events in The First Stone?

I grew a lot, obviously. Reaffirmed that I could count on Jeremy when it matters most, and actually experienced a battle.

…. I got a healthy dose of fear, too. It hasn’t quite gone away yet.

What’s something you wish people knew about you?

….That there’s a reason I’m the quiet, reserved guy. I’m not just some super-awkward mega nerd. I mean, I’m a nerd, don’t get me wrong. But years of hearing people’s true thoughts makes you want to interact less. You fade into the background, they don’t notice you, and you don’t have to hear anything you’d rather not. At least, not about yourself. It’s a form of self-defense.

Plus my best buddy loves the spotlight. So I let him have it. After witnessing how depressed he was when we were younger, I’d do anything to make him happy.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone?

Agh, this is a hard one. I don’t want you to think of me this way.. but shortly after we discovered our powers, we were learning to control them still. Jer and I were experimenting, and we felt like we had them figured out. And then the bullies picked up on our new sense of confidence, I guess. I knew Jer wanted revenge for the way we’d always been treated and I went along with it.

… I have no idea how we didn’t get caught or in trouble. But those boys never bothered us again. Anyone else, either.

What do you fear most?

What’s with all these deep questions? Can’t we go back to the breakfast one?

..No? Okay.

Used to be, it was being discovered. But after The First Stone… yeah, I have a new fear. It has wings and tentacles. Once you read it, you’ll know what I mean.

How do you view your powers?

They’ve always felt like a burden to me. I didn’t ask to be able to hear people’s thoughts. I couldn’t shut it out unless I had music playing. So music was my savior for 8 long years. Every sleeping and waking moment, if I wasn’t listening to music aloud I had it playing mentally. It’s very draining, and even now that I have another way to protect my mind I get uneasy in silence. Silence didn’t exist for me for so many years, I don’t know quite what to do with it.

Lately my powers have transformed from being a burden to more of a call to action. A duty. I have them for a reason, and I receive messages that help to keep others safe. Yeah, I like them now. Most of the time.

That’s a wrap! Anything else you’d like to say before we end this?

Uh.. don’t play at summoning demons, kids. They’re serious trouble.