31 October 2016

Miss Landon and Aubranael

Well. This was different. Regency meets fantasy? I *had* to try it.

From Goodreads:
"Tilby, Lincolnshire, 1811. Miss Sophia Landon is the daughter of an impoverished clergyman. Her father’s health is failing fast, but who wants to marry a woman without birth, beauty or wealth? Her prospects are limited indeed - until her friendship with the town’s fae denizens earns her passage to the otherworldly realm of Aylfenhame. Could her fate truly lie beyond the shores of England?

There she meets Aubranael, a young man with a warm heart and a ruined face. In Sophy he sees the answer to his loneliness, but how can a disfigured Ayliri hope to win her heart? When a mysterious witch offers him the temporary gift of beauty, he eagerly accepts: and so begins an adventure that could change his life, and Sophy’s, forever."


This was an unexpected combination of Regency and fantasy that felt fresh and delightful! Anytime I can describe something as an "interesting Regency paranormal romance", I get a little giddy, because how often do those words get combined like that?

Miss Landon and Aubranael is sweet and clean, in grand Regency tradition, and is a play on Beauty and the Beast, except that Beauty...isn't...and the Beast isn't terrifying. But a bit of madcap Alice in Wonderland/Grimm fairy tale whimsy gives the story depth and balance that would otherwise be lacking. And the delightful troll guarding the bridge is one of my favorite incarnations of the wise old man stereotype. My only complaint is that the structure of the ending robbed it of its potential emotional impact.

If you like Regency novels and fantasy novels, you should not miss out on this experience.

Gentle Reader Alert: I found no items of concern.