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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The king of Calidon is dying, cursed by a ring that cannot be removed from his finger. The fey stranger that comes to the castle to save him has a major secret that could tear apart the royal family. The kingdom’s only hope lies with two young men raised in two entirely different worlds - Aric, the son of the king of Calidon, and Albaric, a mysterious person who is clearly a member of the nobility but is strangely out of place.
It's been a while since I've read a YA fantasy novel by Nancy Spinger, but when I was younger I loved I am Morgan le Fay and I am Mordred. I've read some of her other works that I've enjoyed, but just based on those fantasy books I was really looking forward to her newest outing in the genre. While I liked the story well enough with her interpretation of the fey, the setting of ancient Scotland, and the idea of ring which totally reminds me the One Ring of Lord of the Rings. I don't know about you, but I had issues with the writing style and language. To me it came across as little stilted, especially when it comes to the characters. I had a difficult time investing myself in the cast of characters. I don't know if it was just me, but I also had a hard time keeping the characters straight in my head. I mean with names like Aric, Albaric, and Bardaric, I had trouble remember who's who throughout. I have to admit, too, that names like Escobar and Garth were unexpected.
Overall, there are many elements I liked about this new story from Nancy Springer, but it didn't quite live up to my expectations. My favorite aspect is definitely how the fey are portrayed, but unfortunately I didn't find myself invested in the either of the leading characters. If you're interested in the fey or any of this author's earlier YA fantasy novels, you may be interested in her newest outing.
I read this ARC on May 7, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads. This novel will be released on May 15th, 2028.