There are some books that make you sink in and become the characters, that drape you in lovely words and weave the fantasy world around you. If you haven’t read her, well, that’s the reason for the black hole in your life you’ve always felt but never knew how to fill.
Her series starts out with Lady of the Veils, a book that pulls you into the beautifully deep and complex characters a bit at a time until you’ve fallen in love. Now, there’s a secret buried in many of the YA books today, and that secret is these books often have more truth in them than so-called adult books. It’s fun for some folks to put them down because they are written with a younger audience in mind, but that would be diminishing some fantastic stories that could only exist because they were intended for younger minds. We adults have a tendency, I think, to get stuck in our likes and dislikes, to dismiss anything that doesn’t fit with our world view. Young adult books show a new perspective, written in a new language, that can really sing if we open up our ears to it.
TLDR: If you aren’t reading YA, you’re missing out on a treasure trove of complex stories and intriguing characters.
Let’s focus on the first book, shall we?
Here’s the blurb for Lady of the Veils:
In a suburban town twenty minutes from the border of Faerie lives a young woman named Karen MacGregor. Though she is the daughter of an exiled Faerie princess, Karen leads an unremarkable life full of homework, punk rock and old science fiction movies. When bloody civil war breaks out in her mother’s homeland her life begins to change rapidly. Her brother is presumed dead after his fighter jet is shot down over the Enchanted Forest, and Faerie’s royal family, including her beloved godfather, has been executed. Accompanied by a Fey Prince with whom she shares a forbidden love and armed with magic she never knew existed, Karen must lead a rebel force against an ancient and powerful enemy.
There’s so much more to this book than what the blurb shows. I urge you to read it and see for yourself why one reviewer said, “I am not a fan of fantasy or YA fiction but when I read this book it changed my perspective on both fae fantasy as well as young adult stories.” (Linda on Goodreads. Yeah, I was stalking M. L. John’s profile)
There she is, our Karen. I heartily approve of her as she’s a kickass heroine. She also has a lot of spunk and kindness mixed together to make her a fun person to relate to and read about.
The book starts out by giving you the perception that this is going to be an easy ride. Sure, bad things will happen, but Karen will persevere and win the love of the cute guy, too. Had that been the case, the book still would have been amazing because the writing is top-notch. Of course, when one deals with the fey, one must understand that nothing will ever go easy. Things get dark and grim and the author nestles you into a place of pain and longing that is deliciously agonizing. You stew, you bake, and when you’ve finished the book, you have a better appreciation for your own cushy life.
The next book in the series is the Storm Prince, which gives you a look at the events in the Lady of the Veils from the perspective of Beri, the ‘cute guy’ who might have ended up dating Karen in an alternative universe. In this one, he is troubled, with the weight of the kingdom on his shoulders warring with his need to be normal.
Beriani Quintinar, the youngest son of Faerie’s High king, is brilliant, beautiful, and spoiled as only a prince of the Sidhe can be. He has committed an unforgivable sin—he has fallen in love with the half-human daughter of a traitor. When ogres conquer Avalon and execute his father, he must convince the treacherous Queen of Summer to give him troops enough to win back his homeland. But if he makes it home, what kind of king can he be when he has already committed treason?
My only beef with these books is this: why the heck hasn’t the author written more? Written faster? Get to it, woman! The universe wants to know what happens to Karen and Beri!
Would you like to
hound, er see what the author is up to? Visit her website at mljohnauthor.webs.com or on Facebook here. She does post snippets and always enjoys hearing from people who have just discovered her work and are desperate for more.
I do happen to know that she’s working on book three, so surely it won’t be too much longer to wait for more Karen and Beri goodness. Right, M. L.?
Here’s hoping. Until then, read these. You won’t regret it!