*I received this eARC on Netgalley. All thoughts are my own.*
Halayda was published on March 23, 2017.
Book Summary: “Betrayed by a trusted mentor, Sylvie Imanthiya hides on the fringes of society, caring for half-fae orphans and trading her alchemical creations on the black market. She lives for the one night each season when she can see her dearest friend—a man whose destiny is far above hers. King Taylan Ashkalabek knows better than to exchange halayda vows with a mortal. Even their friendship is a risk; love is an impossible dream. Then a brutal alchemical attack poisons his realm, unearthing a dark power within him—and leaving Sylvie with the ancient mark of Faerie’s savior. Manifesting unpredictable abilities and aided by allies with their own secrets, Sylvie and Taylan journey into the wilds of Faerie to heal the damage and confront Casimir, an invincible star-fae determined to claim the realm as his own. But only their enemy knows Sylvie’s true capabilities—and Taylan’s weaknesses—and how to use them in his vicious schemes. Her fate is life. His fate is death. With Faerie in the balance, Sylvie and Taylan must stand together before reality as they know it is destroyed.”
RATING *3/5 STARS*
Halayda by Sarah Delena White was a good fantasy book. However, it did have its issues. I had the suspicion that this was Sarah Delena White’s first book, and, upon investigation, I found I was correct.
In and of itself, the plot of Halayda is interesting. The issues I found with it, though, overrode the plot for me. For instance, there is very little world building before we are thrown into the action. Albeit, the world in Halayda is slowly revealed to the reader as they continue reading. I myself like a sufficient amount of world building before the action begins in full-swing.
I also had issue with the main character, Sylvie. Throughout the entire book, she had a “poor me” mentality. I didn’t like that all. Especially since all of a sudden, at the end of the book, she becomes strong and powerful, embracing who she is. There wasn’t a lot of character transition for me to warrant that quick development.
The only other element I had issue with was the romance aspect. Sylvie and Taylan have feelings for each other at the start of the book, which is made obvious. Both of them are too afraid to tell each other. Then, suddenly, they are declaring their love. It seemed sudden and a little hokey to me.
In terms of positives, I did enjoy the menagerie of fantasy character in Halayda – star fae, shapeshifters, banshees, etc. I love such characters. In addition, the actual world of Halayda itself, once properly explained and introduced, was beautiful. I could see it clearly.
Overall, the the sequels for Halayda have a lot of potential, especially since writing will only improve with time. I look forward to seeing the series improve! If you’ve read Halayda or if you have any other thoughts, drop me a comment!
Amazon Link: Halayda by Sarah Delena White