#EnterTheFantastic Book Review | Exploring the first installment of the Light of Faerie series within “Fly Free” by Allison Rose

Posted Wednesday, 13 January, 2021 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: During my 3rd Year of co-hosting @WyrdAndWonder, I was able to participate on my first blog tour with Storytellers on Tour which was featuring the author Brianna Sugalski on her “Disenchanted” blog tour. What I appreciated about Storytellers on Tour is their dedication to Indie Authors of Speculative Literature and their ability to find authors who are telling stories in Fantasy which intrigue me to read. Fantasy has been a challenging genre for me to explore even a bit moreso than Science Fiction – which is why I feel blessed to be on their blogger team. Whilst some of their tours I might seek out a book to consider for review, I also actively enjoy hosting creative content using book photography and/or featuring their authors in conversation (ie. interviews) or giving them the breadth of joy to write a guest post based on a topic of my choosing. Overall, Storytellers on Tour are dedicated to creating community and for championing those of us who are choosing to share our readerly lives each day we bring content to our book blogs. 

I received a complimentary copy of “Fly Free” direct from the author Allison Rose in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What initially drew me into “Fly Free”:

I’ve been delving into the realms of the fey ever since I became a book blogger as I knew I wanted to explore Fantasy more than I had before I blogged. For me, Speculative Fiction was a harder branch of literature to explore as a non-blogger because of the overwhelming stigma attached to girls’ who love reading it. I would run into hurdles at bookstores to seek out new voices in Speculative Fiction whilst other readers themselves never seemed inclined to think girls’ should be reading Fantasy; almost like it was exclusively a male-dominated genre of stories! Never one to let anything deter me, I trudged on with my own wanderings in the genre but what I was missing were the Independent voices of SpecFic – of which have fast become my favourites to read as a book blogger and as a reader!

Whilst book blogging opened the door wider for me to dive into genres of interest, it also presented a unique new issue of sorting out what kinds of stories within those genres I love to read I most wanted to explore. Finding literature about faeries has been a unique journey – from the Tipsy Fairy Tales by E. Chris Garrison to my discovery of #OctoberDaye and my first fey-centred Fantasy Romance by H.L. Burke!

I realise the October Daye series isn’t an Indie Fantasy series – however, as I read stories by all routes of publishing, I have found when I tabulate how many stories I read by Indie voices of genres I love against traditionally published authors – the Indie side of the ledger tends to yield a larger number of #booklove from me! Hence why I love hosting Indie authors of Fantasy during an event celebrating Fantasy I happily co-host every May called @WyrdAndWonder!

I first learnt about the two courts of the fey (generally referred to as the Seelie & Unseelie) when I read the anthology A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court. Concurrent to this, I also borrowed a few books from my library about the seelie and unseelie courts but those stories were a bit too dark for me to appreciate whilst the concept of the fey and their courts never fully left me. Which is why I had to smirk when I picked up my first October Daye novel, it was by extension re-examining the fey from a wholly different perspective than the one I had become attached to inside the Tipsy Fairy Tales!

You could say, a lovely niche I love to explore within Fantasy is the world of the fey and faerie and that is why dear hearts, I jumped at the chance to read this lovely novel by Allison Rose! Meanwhile, I have the final installment of the Tipsy Fairy Tales I’ll be reading this New Year 2021 (ie. Mean Spirit) whilst I will also be picking up where I left off with the October Daye series as well – as lo and behold, my local library completely surprised me and *bought!* the whole series!!

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#EnterTheFantastic Book Review | Exploring the first installment of the Light of Faerie series within “Fly Free” by Allison RoseFly Free
Subtitle: Light of the Faerie : Part One
by Allison Rose
Source: Author via Storytellers on Tour

In the land of Faerie, lies are easily disguised as truths.

They were raised like sisters, the heir to the Court of the Day and her guardian.

And as rebellion darkens the land of the Day—and the faeries of Court fall under a dark magic that disconnects them from the land, dooming them to a slow, agonizing death—they will question all they know to be true.

Sevelle, the Light of the Day, is destined to rule one day. She possesses a rare form of magic, the ability to heal the powerful connection between faeries and the magic in the land, the connection that gives them life—if only she could figure out how to use this magic, or even find it within herself.

Jae lives in the shadows, watching over Sevelle as her guardian and listening to the whispers of Court brought to her by the winds. She longs for a life outside of Court, but knows her duty to Sevelle is more important than her own desires.

But when an unexpected proposition comes from none other than Lex, son of the rebel leader, Sevelle and Jae realize their lives will never be the same—and that evil may be within their own court more so than in the rebels that oppose them.

Walking paths far different than they imagined separates the sisters, but then a secret is revealed that may break them apart forever.

Fly Free is the first installment of the Light of Faerie series. Enter a land of magic in the midst of a power struggle, where all is not as it seems and love may be found in the most unlikely places.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Mythological Fantasy, YA Fantasy

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1733077651

Published by Allison Rose Creations

on 17th September, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 250

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This is the first installment of the Light of Faerie series!

This is a Self-Published novel and series!

Converse via: #Fantasy, #YAFantasy or #Fey, #Faerie
as well as #StorytellersOnTour #  & #EnterTheFantastic as #JorieReads

About Allison Rose

Allison Rose

Driven by a lifelong passion for words and reading fantasy novels, award-winning author Allison Rose writes YA fantasy stories featuring faeries, magic, and strong heroines. She has a BA in psychology and is fascinated by how other people think, but her love for reading and writing is greater. When Allison isn’t writing, she is editing and proofreading the works of others. Allison lives with her husband, collie mix, bunny, and chinchilla in the place of wild weather also known as Buffalo, New York.

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my review of fly free:

Sevelle had an unbearable weight on her shoulders as being the heir to the Court of Day of whom cannot connect to her own internal magic in order to save her people. It is an auspicious opening to the story as despite her will to succeed in her purpose, there is a disconnect in her talent and ability with the will of her heart and mind. In that, I found a curious entrance into the story, as her mother is quite obtuse in how she feels about her daughter – to her, if the daughter cannot fulfill her destiny, there is a misalignment somewhere in the world of fey. You can partially recognise the mother’s angst and partially feel sympathy for Sevelle in equal measure – as the mother wants to save their kin and Sevelle simply wants to seek answers for why she cannot embrace what she needs to do for her people.

I would find it quite frustrating if you were entrusted to achieve something within your species and community and yet, found that you lacked the ability to carry it out. Not that you understood fully what was causing the disconnect within you but realising that sometimes the most challenging resolutions of our lives are the ones which are hardest to uncover and to understand. I felt Sevelle was on the brink of being disowned by the Day Court completely as I felt for them, she was viewed as a fey not worthy of her own heritage. The harder truths of the fey is everything about their way of life and order hinges on individual gifts, talents and predestined abilities in order to preserve their way of life.

One of the beautiful scenes Rose etched into Fly Free is when Sevelle goes into the heart of the garden seeking the trees which symbolise her family’s ancestry and legacy. It is here you see Sevelle as a faerie who longs to live up to the reputation others place upon her shoulders and the weight of rule her mother insists is her destiny yet in the garden, all of that melts away. She sees the trees, the strength of their growth and the beauty of their unity. Each tree tells a different story (just as they would in our world) and from the trees, Sevelle appeared to relax from the pressures she was being consumed by inside and out. I felt she had to go into the garden just to regather a sense of herself outside the constant reminders of what was expected of her and how she was failing her people to save them from ruin.

As we grow closer to Sevelle, following her through her hours – how co-dependent the fey are on the rising dawn to renew their energy and also to offer them a bit of lifeblood to carry-on as they are as connected to the cycles of the natural world as they are as a collective whole – we find she’s on the brink of uncovering what has been kept secreted away from most of her kin. Even her guardian Jae has secrets swirling between them and it was only after Sevelle touched a stone inflected by a spirit-user did she start to suspect Jae knew far more than she was sharing. Jae for her part gave out very little to the reader. You suspected the same as Sevelle, but even a bit moreso given how Jae’s internal thoughts and actions felt in opposition to what was currently needed.

Jae was a guardian faerie – whose job was to protect the heir to the court (Sevelle) whilst at the same time she seemed to have this entire ‘other’ life outside the court itself! Jae wasn’t one to reveal information easily but there were a few who could draw information out of her if they so choose to take that course. It was during a scene with Morlan wherein we found out a bit of what Jae is hiding from the rest of them: she knows more than she’s eluding too about the rebels (in this world the rebels  are a collective of fey in alignment with birds of prey). I felt Jae was in the awkward position of knowing more without being able to do anything with the knowledge she had gained. And, this theory of mine was proved by her meeting with Lex, one of the rebels who is seeking to cause a jolt of change for the Glorious by his plans of extracting one of their own. His reasons are not fully known in the beginning but part of me wondered if he wanted to restructure the layers of power and reinstate new leaders to replace the old. The only contrary part of his personality is the fact he has a huge layer of concern for Sevelle and how she is meant to be treated whilst in his guardianship. This surprised me because I still wasn’t entirely convinced of what his endgame would be for everyone involved.

Jae and Sevelle have a complicated friendship – both have full respect for each other but they each have their own reasons for keeping the other just out of reach of full disclosure. I wasn’t sure if that would hinder them in the long term or save them. Either way, Jae was fully aligned with the rebels and through her influence, Sevelle was contemplating aligning herself as well if only to forge a path which would not lead to outright war. On that level, you had to sympathise with her rather than her mother as I felt the Glorious only saw one resolution to this entire matter which would be combat rather than diplomacy.

As Lex became Sevelle’s new travelling companion and guardian, I felt the shame of defeat from Jae and yet, how could she be criticised for having become defeated when she did everything she was meant to do? I was more conflicted by the Glorious reacting to their actions than I was of seeing how hard Jae was taking this twist and turn of events. Sevelle’s mother might look like a Queen (even talk and act like one!) but the truth of the matter is she only listened to herself and to what she felt was right as rain. Something about her mannerisms triggered a warning in my mind – almost as if what Sevelle and Jae both wanted to accomplish would go for naught if the Glorious was not taken down a few pegs upon the return of Sevelle.

Whilst Sevelle was away from the Court, what stirred in her absence was quite shocking because the very foundation of her life and Jae’s was becoming upturnt and twisted out from their own memories. I felt the worst for Jae – having to shoulder these unkind truths by herself whilst Sevelle was embarking on a journey to re-assert herself as a leader of the Court. The sad bit truly was how the mechanisms behind the girls’ was working against them both. Everyone wanted something from them but no one was actually taking into consideration what the girls’ themselves wanted as their own choice in the affairs brought against them. This wasn’t a world of fairness and justice because this involves the fey and they are tricky to understand what motivates them outside of their own selfish interests.

The ways in which Rose wrote the drama behind the revelations is what pulls you into her narrative the most. You cannot help but become rooted in this world observing what is happening with her characters and having the weight of regret not assault you as you’re reading. She took an interesting thread of intrigue and spun it round the concept of the fey in such a way as to curate a believable quest for Sevelle and a reckoning of identity for Jae. I love how this offers the foundation for the series and an entrance back into the world of the fey I was not expecting to find and loved experiencing.

on the fantastical writing styling of allison rose:

I positively love character centric stories and within the opening chapters of Allison Rose’s Fly Free we are treated to a beautiful overlay of seeing the fey and understanding where we are entering their lives in regards to the issues they are currently facing with an illness sweeping through their ranks. The ways in which Rose identified her fey and how their markings told a bit about them as an individual was wickedly classic as it opened the door into the fey by showcasing how individualistic they are and how they each respond differently to moments of crisis and drama.

Rose entreats us to explore this world of the fey of the Day Court through a growing discourse of unease as this particular group of fey are succumbing to a disease and an affliction which could overtake their race. Rose doesn’t wait long to showcase how far reaching the effects are of this condition either – as the fey are connected to the earth and the earth to the fey – proving the symbiotic connection they equally share is also part of their destruction. The fey have to feel the lifeblood of the earth in order to survive and by all accounts thrive – yet when this is placed in jeopardy it puts their lives in a vice against time.

Similar to the reasons why I loved reading To Court A QueenFly Free is an eclipse of life behind the veil of where the fey live and how they find balance out of their court of rule. You get to see glimpses of how they set themselves to high standards, how they suffer no fools and to deceive when your a fey is a straight ticket into the kind of trouble no one would broker for themselves. And yet, this is exactly what Rose is exploring as both Jae and Sevelle are putting themselves on the frontlines of where danger and deception co-mingle together.

Fantastical Elements:

→ Uniquely described individualistic personalities of the fey co-dependent on how they look and represent themselves (ie. style of dress, weapon of choice, hair/eye/skin tones, how they walk with their wings, etc)

→ Telk stones

→ Natural magic intrinsically attached to the fey and the natural environments in which they live

The telk stones were etched with symbols which represented what they could give the person who used them. They worked differently for different people – but for Sevelle she tried to call forth their essences in order to em-better herself in the present; to more or less the outcomes she had hoped to receive. These were regularly traded and used throughout their kingdom – some for the better, others which fell into the wrong hands who didn’t understand their power. It was a unique system and one that felt partially a way to allow magic to be transient and partially a way to provide a way for bartering and trading to occur within this world.

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as you visit others participating:

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 I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary! Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read. Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “Fly Free”, book synopsis, author biography and photo (of Allison Rose), the tour banner and book tour banner were all provided by Storytellers on Tour and are used with permission. LibraryThing banner is provided by LibraryThing and is used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #EnterTheFantastic Book Review banner, #EnterTheFantastic banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Wednesday, 13 January, 2021 by jorielov in #EnterTheFantastic, Blog Tour Host, Dark Arts (Dark Magic), Faeries & the Fey, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Indie Author, Self-Published Author, Storytellers on Tour, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, YA Fantasy

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