The start of a swoony, high-energy duology that Emily Lloyd-Jones, author of The Bone Houses, calls “reminiscent of classic fairytales yet brimming with a charm all its own.”
“A world of glimmering fae that sparkles with mystery, adventure, and enchantment.” —Andrew Joseph White, New York Times bestselling author of Hell Followed with Us
Iselia “Seelie” Graygrove looks just like her twin, Isolde…but as an autistic changeling left in the human world by the fae as an infant, she has always known she is different. Seelie’s unpredictable magic makes it hard for her to fit in—and draws her and Isolde into the hunt for a fabled treasure. In a heist gone wrong, the sisters make some unexpected allies and find themselves unraveling a mystery that has its roots in the history of humans and fae alike.
Both sisters soon discover that the secrets of the faeries may be more valuable than any pile of gold and jewels. But can Seelie harness her magic in time to protect her sister and herself?
“Housman’s stunning debut is the sort of love letter only an autistic author could write. Fae canon has been waiting for this one.” —H.E. Edgmon, author of The Witch King
The author provides an informative and thought-provoking introduction to Unseelie where she discusses what it’s like to be a changeling. Ivelisse Housman, you see, is autistic. She presents an interesting case for the changelings – those unusual beings well-known in folklore as fairy children who have replaced human children – having been children with autism whose differences made them part of folklore.
In Unseelie, Housman has created a character who is different. Whose differences are acknowledged by her family, if not fully accepted, and who is loved unconditionally. Iselia or Seelie as she is called throughout the book, doubts herself and feels responsible for bad things that happened to her family. In Housman’s hands, though, Seelie becomes powerful as she accepts who she is and what she can do.
The story follows many of the familiar themes in folklore – there’s a quest, a treasure, and a band of misfits who battle powerful forces. There is also a strong theme of family and friendship which provides the backbone upon which the story is built. And this is a cracking good story – imaginative, clever, and full of vivid description.
This is a beautiful and powerful story that will surely appeal to fans of fantasy and folklore of all ages. Appropriate for upper middle grade and older.
Publication Date: January 3, 2023
Published By: Inkyard Press
Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy