Halayda is the first book the Star-Fae Trilogy & is the best opening book to a fantasy series that I have read in a very long time! Sarah has created a very detailed & complex world, with diverse & intricate characters that I absolutely adored. It’s been a very long time since I last read a Fae book, because they often feel cheesy or childish, but this book was neither of those things. I feel like this series is going to end up being one of my all-time favs.
Disclaimer: I was sent an eARC by the publisher in return for an honest review.
Halayda follows the lives of four peculiar, magical (racially diverse) individuals, who are all very different & well-developed in their own ways. Each character has their own reason for being at the centre of the plot & each holds their role very well. The book itself was full of many plot twists & each one made me desperate to keep reading; I was totally addicted to this story from the outset & if I’m honest, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
Sarah seems to have put a lot of effort into the world-building for this series as there is tonnes of detail & many layers; the setting descriptions were thorough & enchanting, & I was able to picture them in my head quite well. When I was imagining certain scenes, my brain seemed to do a lot of it in cartoon/animated form & I think that just shows how magical & incredible the places were; I couldn’t imagine them in a real-life way.
The whole thing felt very original as well & none of it felt like it had been stolen from another series; the world & its locations felt very new to me & I constantly wanted to learn more about them. I was undeniably ignorant to this world & its secrets, & it was bloody fantastic. In some ways this book felt like fantasy and science-fiction; the different parts of the world that were visited sometimes felt like something out of Doctor Who, & that can only be a good thing when I’m the reader. I was also a little reminded of one of the stories from The Faraway Tree series when in the tunnels in Faerie, (which was my favourite series as a child) so that was fab too.
As I’ve said, the main characters were all very well written & developed; each had their own past that we slowly learn more & more about – these aren’t just characters who have popped into existence for the sake of this particular story. Each one of the characters changes throughout the book & the personality development is done subtly enough that it feels very real. You can also see aspects of the characters’ previous selves in their current selves & that helps to make them seem more realistic & relatable.
Halayda also contained bits of romance; normally I hate romantic sub-plots but the relationships between these characters were written so well that they felt very real & therefore not grossly cheesy! This meant that I was able to enjoy the entire story, & all the sub-plots without rolling my eyes.
This book really got under my skin & I felt totally obsessed by it whilst I was reading it – I’m ridiculously excited for the rest of the series & I’d love to get my hands on the next book as soon as possible! Halayda was so exciting & so different from anything else that I’ve read & I just fell totally in love with it.