My Rating: 4/5
Author: Heidi Garrett
Title: True Love’s First Kiss, The Queen of the Realm of Faeries Books 1-3
Book Blog Tour!
This review is part of a book blog tour for True Love’s First Kiss. The tour is hosted by Itching for Books who is also hosting a giveaway for this book:
I want to thank Shane for all her hard work with the tour, and Heidi who has become a great friend in the process!
Okay, now here’s my review for the book!
Nandana’s Mark, Book 1: When two half-faeries–Melia and her younger sister–are cursed under dreadful circumstances, true love’s first kiss is the remedy.
The Flower of Isbelline, Book 2: Nothing but true love’s first kiss can save Melia’s younger sister from blind ambition and ruin.
The Dragon Carnivale, Book 3: Melia must choose the freedom she cherishes or true love’s first kiss–and a relationship that promises to secure her place in the Whole.
The Queen of the Realm of Faerie is a fairy tale fantasy series that bridges the Mortal and Enchanted worlds. The main character, Melia, is an eighteen-year-old half-faerie, half-mortal.
When the story opens in the first book, Melia is troubled by her dark moon visions, gossip she overhears about her parents at the local market, and the trauma of living among full-blooded faeries with wings–she doesn’t have any.
As the series unfolds, the historic and mystical forces that shape Melia’s life are revealed. Each step of her journey–to find the place where she belongs–alters her perceptions about herself, deepens her relationships with others, and enlarges her world view.
True Love’s First Kiss is a compilation of the first three books in this ongoing series.
True Love’s First Kiss is a compiled edition of the first three books of a series. Because this includes all three books, I will be discussing all three. Hence, if you are planning to read the books individual (Nandana’s Mark, The Flower of Isbelline, The Dragon Carnival), you might hit into some spoilers for the beginning books. If you are reading this particular edition, you should be fine. Just a heads up before you continue!
The story mainly follows a half-faerie, half-mortal named Melia. She is the middle child to a full faerie mother and mortal father. When faeries marry mortals, a troth must be kept. Melia’s father broke his promise the day her younger sister was born. Her father remained stuck in the mortal realm, while Melia, her mother, and two sisters went to Faerie. Not long afterwards, Melia could speak to her father (and sisters) telepathically. In the beginning of the book, she starts having terrible visions of Faerie’s destruction with Melia enjoying the turmoil. Melia soon finds out that her father is trying to incarnate Umbra – a force located in the void – that could destroy Faerie and change everything in their lives. She and her sisters try to stop him, but things do not go as planned. The sisters are individually curse. The curse is not the only thing that threatens Melia and her sisters. She still has visions and umbra is still a threat to be incarnated. Melia must go on a quest to help save Faerie from Umbra. There is family betrayal, kidnapping, death, dragons, realm jumping, shifters, dwarves, ogres, special flowers, true love, facing fears, magic, and self-discovery in this book.
The story was written in third person following a few characters. The main character in the book was Melia who was a half faerie and half mortal. Melia always wanted to fly when she discovered as a little girl back in Faerie that her mother had wings and she did not. Without her wings, she felt like an outsider; She stuttered when nervous. Her only true friend was a pixie, Tatou. Even her older and younger sister seemed to fit in better than she did. Melia soon gets disturbing visions related to the incarnation of Umbra and vows to stop it at all cost. With the help of her sisters, Melia was able to stop her father from incarnating Umbra, but at a terrible price. Because of their mistake, Melia and her sisters were cursed. However, Melia’s curse is not so terrible for her. Every night she transforms into a black eagle. At last she has wings! Only true love’s first kiss could break the curse. When she met Ryder (someone she saw in her visions that helped her), she had to decide what’s more important – her freedom to fly or love. As her journey continued, Melia grew as a character – she built more confidence. Basically, she discovered who she really was and what was important.
Ryder was trained as a priest, but also studied everything about Umbra. He understood the danger of the incarnation. Hence, he stole a special sword needed for the incarnation of Umbra, and planned to take it to a special place. Ryder, despite his theft, had a good heart and was also a well-trained person. He also felt a pull towards Faerie (and to Melia.) But, their relationship was not simple and straightforward as it might have seemed. As a person on the run, there was danger in every corner for this young man.
The other characters were also well-written and complex. Some of the “bad” guys were not as bad as they appear. (One of my favorite characters was a spring faerie.)
The books flowed right into the next one. I can’t give a full opinion on how it would be to have stop between books, because I didn’t. If I had to, I think the first two books could have been grouped as one big one, because of the way the first one ended. But, everything flowed in this particular edition. There were definitely some unexpected detours from the route in the race to stop Umbra. Throughout the journey, there were interesting new characters to meet – some to hate, others to love. All the different names/places at the beginning were brought up quickly, but the book provides a map at the beginning and a character glossary in the back for easy access. I liked how Melia’s and Ryder’s relationship wasn’t so easy – unlike what most “true love” relationship seemed to be geared towards. You know, the immediate falling into each other arms without knowing anything about the person. It made it more believable. One thing I wondered about by the end of this book was how the older sister was faring.
The Bottom Line:
Overall I enjoyed the book. If you like fantasy novels and faeries, you might want to try this book.