I am always up for a new fantasy read so when I found Faerie Silver, Iron Cold by Vic Malachai on Netgalley, I immediately requested it. It started off strong but unfortunately, it ended up being 430 pages of pure boredom. This review will have spoilers.
No well-brought-up child of Brinley would ever dream of crossing the stepping stones. In Brinley, no one ever goes out at night and cold iron guards every door and window, for the stream crossing doesn’t just lead to the deep forest—it leads to Faerie. All children of Saxony were told Faerie stories, but the ones of Brinley whispered of protective yellow hardhay flowers and cold iron to ward away the ever-looming danger.
Ciar Eckstein isn’t a well-brought-up child of Brinley.
When her mother dies, her father sends Ciar and her brother to live with their grandparents, guardians of Brinley’s bridge to Faerie. Ciar’s mother’s Faerie stories were alluring, but in Brinley the tales are dark. Despite their parent’s warnings the children of Brinley play dangerous games along the bank. Ciar is the only one to ever take the ultimate dare—cross the stream into Faerie.
Faerie is beautiful and dangerous, and nothing in Faerie is quite so beautiful or dangerous as the young Fae, Mael. Ciar and Mael grow up together as Brinley watches in horrified fascination, wondering when the Fae-touched girl will disappear over the stream forever, swallowed up by the hungry woods that have claimed so many others. Brinley breathes a sigh of relief when Ciar goes off to school, town and girl finally freed.
But with a promise to return hanging in the balance, is Brinley right about what waits in Faerie?
- Rating: ⭐
My number one complaint with this novel is that it reads like a first, maybe second, draft. The grammar wasn’t particularly bad but there were mistakes, and the writing didn’t flow smoothly. I caught myself rereading the same paragraph over and over because it was either poorly written or so dull that I couldn’t focus on it. The storyline in general was very dull and nothing happened that felt like a truly high stakes moment or like the characters were in actual danger.
The characters also felt very much like a first draft. They had no depth and never changed throughout the story. We see the main character, Ciar, grow from seven years old to seventeen but her inner voice doesn’t mature and she repeatedly makes silly, childish decisions. Mael, Ciar’s “love interest,” also never changes.
Speaking of Ciar and Mael’s love for each other, I didn’t buy it. They met when Ciar was seven and she went off to school at thirteen. In that time, they played together but they never had a real, intense bonding moment. Somehow, though, this brief time spent together as children causes Mael to become obsessed with Ciar. Their romance was very bland and passionless. Ciar is literally kidnapped at one point and there was still no intense emotion when she’s rescued by Mael. Again, it reads like a first draft.
I truly hate to rate this book so low because it had the potential to be something really good. I think Vic Malachai has the talent to write something interesting but she needs better beta readers, at the least. If you’ve read this book, what did you think? Thanks for reading and have a great day!