Review: Fae's Deception

After reading so many fairy tale adaptations, you might think I've been obsessing over the same stories again and again. Oddly enough, the fairy tale books I've read have proven to be more imaginative and diverse in content than the original faery princess stories that I've switched to as of late. Each one seems to have the same plot. An ordinary girl with a difficult life discovers that she is a lost princess of a magical land that she is magically transported to, often by a handsome young man, and overcomes a number of insurmountable odds to take back her kingdom from a greedy and powerful villain. I loved the way this story was presented in Selina Fenech's Memory's Wake trilogy, but it started to lose traction after I read another book with the same plot. Fae's Deception by Michelle Lynn and Melissa Craven suffers from a similar lack of originality along with inconsistent characters that made me disinterested in reading the rest of the series. This was the second time I've been fooled by a Facebook ad that looked interesting without knowing anything about it.

Fae's Deception by M Lynn and Melissa Craven

The inciting incident in a story is often the most important part because it sets up everything that is about to happen. In stories like this one, the inciting incident is usually when a girl who's down on her luck getting taken to a magical world where all of her dreams come true. While that does sort of happen in Fae's Deception, it is not the event that kicks off the story. Brea Robinson is your average YA fiction heroine--a troubled ordinary girl who knows there's something extraordinary out there for her. When a school bully makes fun of her for the time she spent in mental hospitals as a result of her supernatural abilities, her best friend, Myles, tries to defend her and gets caught up in a magical blast that she emits involuntarily. She is then arrested and accused of murdering him. This is a girl who lives in a world where everyone believes that there was no such thing as magic and institutionalized her for even considering the prospect. If they think her magic is a delusion, why is she suddenly accused of murdering her best friend when she never laid a finger on him? For all intents and purposes, it seemed like any ordinary witness would have seen the bully try to strike Brea when Myles jumped in the way. Why didn't they arrest the bully? No one should have understood that she used magic, and if they did, they should have apologized for institutionalizing her. Not to mention the fact that she is a minor who clearly cared for Myles and was taken to be tried as someone who intentionally plotted to kill him. What?

After that, the story follows the traditional"lost princess" routine. Two handsome young men show up at different times to break Brea out of jail and bring her to the magical kingdom of the fae, where she learns that she is a changeling princess. This is where Brea's personality, or lack thereof, starts to create problems. It seems like she trusts everyone and no one at the exact same time. She goes along with Loch when he breaks her out of jail and then Griff when he tells her Loch is bad. As soon as one of them stops being of use to her, and then she runs back to the other one. She ran from Loch to Griff and vice versa so many times in this book that it felt like an intentional gag, even though it wasn't supposed to be. Then all of a sudden, she was falling in love with Griff until she was falling in love with Loch for seemingly no reason. She ran away so much that she never took the time to truly get to know either of these opposing brothers. It's probably no coincidence that the book has two authors since the main character is constantly being pulled in two different directions.

This wasn't one of the worst books I've ever read, but it wasn't quite my cup of tea. It did a good job of capturing the dark lore of fae mythology in a creepy and dangerous setting. I think it would have some appeal among teen readers who enjoy gothic supernatural fiction such as the Twilight crowd. As far as faery princess stories go, it depended too much on the shock value and not enough on the characters' actual motivations. At times, it felt as though it was only written to convince readers to buy the next book, a technique that isn't generally effective for fleshing out a complete novel. Brea's impulsive and self-doubting nature makes her a good candidate as a Mary Sue for young readers who want to imagine themselves as her. The love triangle, superpowers, and secret royalty aspects might be enough to appeal to audiences who aren't interested in anything deeper, but it didn't work for me.

Overall, I got the impression that the Fae's Deception series is written solely for teenagers who like dark and brooding main characters that get everything they desire without needing to earn it. As an older reader, the lack of logic that went into the inciting incident and Brea's inconsistency in who she trusts made the story difficult to swallow. Though it wasn't based on a fairy tale, it had a similar enough story to so many other books I've read in the past that it didn't feel particularly original. I would recommend this series only to younger readers who are fans of Twilight and similar novels.

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