Author: Molly Ringle
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
First Published: 05 January 2021
“That doesn’t mean you weren’t a hero. Heroes can be unwilling.”
I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank so much the team over at Central Avenue Publishing and NetGalley for sending a copy my way!
Awakening the handsome prince is supposed to end the fairy tale, not begin it. But the Highvalley witches have rarely done things the way they’re supposed to. On the north Pacific island of Eidolonia, hidden from the world by enchantments, Prince Larkin has lain in a magical sleep since 1799 as one side of a truce between humans and fae. That is, until Merrick Highvalley, a modern-day witch, discovers an old box of magic charms and cryptic notes hidden inside a garden statue.
Experimenting with the charms, Merrick finds himself inside the bower where Larkin lies, and accidentally awakens him. Worse still, releasing Larkin from the spell also releases Ula Kana, a faery bent on eradicating humans from the island. With the truce collapsing and hostilities escalating throughout country, Merrick and Larkin form an unlikely alliance and become even unlikelier heroes as they flee into the perilous fae realm on a quest to stop Ula Kana and restore harmony to their island.
This was a magical quest across an island filled with just about every fae creature imaginable. I adored it! It also had the sweetest MM romance. I also enjoyed the twist on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale.
Lava Red Feather Blue follows Merrick Highvalley, a half-fae, who’s trying to find the away to heal his father from the strange fae sickness that’s rapidly ageing him. In his search, he finds an old box of charms. These charms lead him to a hidden portal where Prince Larkin has been in an enchanted sleep since 1799. Merrick accidentally wakes up the prince that also breaks the enchanted sleep of Ula Kana, a powerful faery, who’s determined to eradicate humans from Eidolonia.
The narrative opens in 1799 when Prince Larkin is sent to his enchanted sleep before fast-forwarding to modern day where we meet Merrick. The story unfolds from both Merrick and Larkin’s point of view.
I adore Merrick Highvalley. He is an absolute sweetheart who will do anything from his family but is a little reckless. He is half air faery. Merrick can fly and has downy feathers like his mother that grow alongside his body hair on his nape, between shoulder blades and on his chest. I loved the exploration of what it means to be half-race. It didn’t feel as though it was just there as a plot point.
The relationship between Merrick and Larkin has a bit of a rocky start. Larkin is a perfect grumpy hero to Merrick’s ray of sunshine, which we all know is my favourite trope. But Larkin is quick to realise that he cannot trust his ancestors or the current government whose agenda is to take over the fae lands. Merrick and Larkin form an unlikely alliance as they head into the fae realm on their quest to ally with the three fae whose lands surround the Kumiahi desert. With these alliances in place, there is the hope of stopping Ula Kana without putting the prince back to sleep.
At the start, I was a little confused about the setting. I was unsure if this was set in our world or somewhere else and found it jarring. But once I got my head around it I adored the idea of a hidden island in the pacific where humans and fae live alongside each other. The island feels as like a part of the pacific. I love the addition of Hawaiian and Maori words for names of people and places.
The representative and diversity in Eidolonia are amazing. Queerness is a fixture on the island even in the 1790s timeline. All races and sexualities are a natural part of the world, which is honestly something we need to see more of in the fantasy genre.
Lava Red Feather Blue was everything I could ever need in a fantasy romance. I’m not sure if we are getting any more from this world — secretly I hope we do! I’m excited to read more from Molly Ringle. Perfect for fans of fae and MM romances.