Happy Hump day everyone! For today’s blog post, I will be reviewing ‘A Festival of Trial and Ember‘ by Logan Miehl, part one of what will no doubt be an epic fantasy featuring fairies, battles and creatures which lurk in the shadows. So what’s it about? Let’s check out the trusted blurb:
A dangerous summer festival. A throne left empty. A forgotten world of faeries in a time of shadow and treason. Róisín, 17-years-old, is biding her time till graduation. When the shadows around her come to life, she discovers no one else can see these strange creatures except her and her brother. Desperate for answers, she embarks on a journey into the Otherworld—a land beneath Ireland where faeries live as the descendants of ancient Celtic gods. As Róisín struggles to survive, she realizes her decisions could alter the fate of an entire Kingdom. The Festival of Trial and Ember is the first book in the compelling new Faerie Festival Series. There are games to win, promises to break, and hearts to conquer. The Celtic summer festival of Lughnasa has begun.
The book follows a familiar format: a young teenage girl, thrust into a world she did not know existed, fighting for survival. This template has been tried and tested, and let’s face it, it works. You see the fairies and their world for the first time, through the main character’s eyes, and you learn about their ways as she does. The premise is introduced really well, with the action starting almost immediately, and I found myself gripped from the first page. It builds well, and contains the right amount of action and threat to keep you turning the pages. I was slightly disappointed by the abrupt ending, but it’s clear that this is just part one of this adventure, so realistically, it probably couldn’t have ended any other way.
As a Celt myself, I really enjoyed reading about legends I learned about as a child, as well as discovering some new ones. I also loved that the characters had traditionally spelt, and pronounced, Irish names. The creatures and the fairies again are familiar, but Logan presents them in a new way. With each chapter beginning with a quote from historical books about such legends, presented almost as facts taken from a text book, it gives the story and the legends within a certain amount of believability and credibility, as if this world could truly exist unbeknownst to myself and my fellow humans.
The characters are well rounded and believable. I will be honest though, Roisin kind of irritated me for much of the book, acting like a petulant child a lot of the time, but she discovers who she is, finds her stride and becomes pretty badass towards the end. I look forward to reading the following books and seeing her as a more confident young adult rather than a teenager with an attitude.
Overall, I found the book really entertaining, and at points, I couldn’t put it down! I definitely recommend it for any fans of fantasy and Young Adult fiction, and I will 100% be reading the following books in the series.