★★★ ½ @AdelaideForrestAuthor
New to me author Ms. Woods draws me into a fantasy world of fae and magic. I fell in love with Caelum and even if I suspected something about his background, it matters not. I still love him. In this first book, we learn about what humans think of the fae. Specifically, we learned how the fae came about and what horrible things they do to humans. This is all from the human perspective. I immediately have my doubts because it is rare that an entire race of beings is all evil. And I am not sure I trust humans who treat their own so horribly.
When humans claim that picking someone to sacrifice and drain their blood into the edges of the veil to keep the evil out, I have already lost confidence in the humans. Blood sacrifice in this manner has never led to good. I want to know more about how this veil was created and to learn exactly what the fae did. There are rumours and stories ... none substantiated with how the Fae treated humans. I am skeptical at best about how the fae are painted.
Then the veil comes down and the Wild Hunt is out hunting. Okay, maybe the Fae are not pure and good as I had hoped. But they certainly are not full evil. They don't kill the marked; they only hunt and capture them. I guess this is the question some readers would pose. Would it be better to be killed off by the human so that you don't live a life of slavery with the Fae? This question is ignorant in my mind. Because the choices shouldn't be killed or slaved. Why aren't more humans hiding the marked and trying to protect them? These humans are brothers, sisters, friends, families, lovers, and neighbors. Suddenly they are so radically different they need to eradicate? That makes little sense to me.
Estrella lives a shit life. Her father was a "sacrifice" for the veil. She's currying favour from the most powerful man in the village against her will. Learning about her past and what she suffers is dreary and grim. When the veil falls, it could be doom but not so much for her. She is actually now going to maybe live her life. That is if she can escape the fae. There is a mystery surrounding her. Her knight in shining armour is Caelum who saves her more than once. Their chemistry is off the charts. Their sex is mmmm good. Yes, this is why there is an extra 1/2 a star for this story. What I wouldn't do to be fae marked matching Caelum's so that I could be at mercy of his hands, cock, and tongue.
I did not expect this fantasy to involve rough and primal sex. It works though and I liked it. This story does go a bit slow even with all the action scenes. I felt it went slow because we are trying to figure out what is going on and Estrella is in the dark most of this book. In the end, there is just enough revealed to hook the reader in and want to read the next book. I am all in! I want to see what happens next.
This high fantasy is recommended to readers who enjoy darker erotica mixed in with fantasy.
* I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book provided by Give Me Books