This review is for all three books in the Fairwick Chronicles, by Juliet Dark, however, I will give each book it’s own rating. I got all three as ebooks from the LA library with little to no wait time.
What I’d Pay:
The Demon Lover (Book 1): $8
The Water Witch (Book 2): $7
The Angel Stone (Book3): $6
To sum up the series: A professor of folklore and fairy tales gets a job at a small college in a rural area and finds her house is haunted, the town is filled with witches and fairies, and somehow she’s the key to fixing all their problems. As the series progresses, she must deal with her heritage as the daughter of both a fairy and a witch, and struggles to find her role in the magical society while dealing with serious love issues.
The first book was the best of the three because I was willing to ignore the fact that so many aspects of the world and characters were left unexplained, since there were two more books left to take care of things. However, I never felt that I fully understood exactly why things were happening throughout the series. There were many rules that kind of came out of the blue, without much explanation. The world-development was never as detailed as I look for in a good fantasy book.
If you’re into romance then this series does deliver some steamy scenes (I’d rate these books R), but I had serious issues with the romantic angle by the end of the second book. Without giving away any spoilers, I felt that the main character was quite manipulative of the male romantic leads. The male leads were really flat characters, not well-developed, and there are times when it seems that the main character is just using them for her own sexual gratification. She doesn’t care about their thoughts, pasts, or problems, and purposefully tries to ignore many warning signs that would’ve tipped her off to important information. In addition to this, she is inconsistent. Sometimes she is very intelligent and other times downright obtuse and indecisive, choosing to ignore the obvious right in front of her. That got annoying after awhile and I never really connected to any of the main characters at all.
I continued reading the series because I had hoped that it would become a little more focused on fleshing out the details of the world and characters rather than just the romance, however, I was ultimately disappointed. I felt I had to finish the series in the hopes that everything would be explained and the end would all make sense, but unfortunately it did not for me. Getting through much of the last two books was a bit of a struggle.
Bottomline: If you like romance, with a side of fantastical elements and magic, this could be a good read for you. However, for me it was neither a standout romance or fantasy novel, and I would recommend others instead (such as my favorite paranormal romance series Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs or A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness). The first book was entertaining, hence the higher rating, but if you don’t enjoy the first book, it’s probably not worth investing time finishing the series since it doesn’t really change.