Thursday, January 05, 2012
Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey
For seventeen years, Eloise Hart had no idea the world of Faery even existed. Now she has been abducted and trapped in the Rath of Lord Strahan, King of Faery. Strahan was only meant to rule for seven years, as Faery tradition dictates, and then give up his crown to another. But he won’t comply, and now chaos threatens both worlds. The only one who can break his power is Eloise’s aunt Antonia-and Eloise has become his bargaining chip.
Eloise will need the help of her best friends Jo and Devin, along with the other Fae captives of Strahan’s hall. With a whole world of Faeries out to get her, Eloise, her Fae protector Lucas and the mysterious Eldric, must stop Strahan both worlds are thrust into complete chaos…
I completely forget how much fun it is reading an Alyxandra Harvey title. Stolen Away is no exception. She writes so easily and within seconds you know the set-up, who the main characters are and you just love them to bits.
Stolen Away is told from both Eloise and Jo's point of view in alternating chapters - something I did not expect but which I loved. Both girls have strong individual personalities and they are girls you want to be mates with. But they are also both flawed characters and it is a testimony to Ms. Harvey's writing that she so easily and so quickly gets you INTO their lives without much hassle. Some readers may think that things move too fast, that we only scratch the surface before things go pear shaped, but that is part of the appeal because we get to know the girls really well as they go through their travails.
Sadly, we do not get to know Devin very well and I had a tiny crush on him as he is my kinda guy. The story, as I mentioned before, moves really fast and yet we spend enough time to develop crushes on both Lucas and Eldric, the two (separate) love interests. Because not only does Eloise have her own knight in shining armour in the shape of Lucas, but Jo finds Eldric, the "enemy" a very tasty young morsel. I loved that there was no love triangle. I loved that Eloise doubted Jo's taste in boys, as Eldric was suitably dark, mysterious and a bit of an ass. But with a reason of his own and a destiny of his own.
Okay, I admit, this is a rubbish review as it is gushy but I just plain loved Stolen Away. I loved the plot, the characters and the writing. Voice is queen here and I genuinely admire Ms. Harvey for stealing me away from the mundane last few days of 2011 to let me play in Faerie, even if it is a bit dark and dangerous.
It reminded me strongly of Holly Black's Tithe but is far less gritty. But all the traits that made Tithe such a good read is in Stolen Away - great characters, strong world building and a plot that rockets ahead. Highly recommended!
Find Alyxandra Harvey's website here. Stolen Away is published on 5th Jan here in the UK by Bloomsbury Kids.