Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review: Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey

Publisher: Walker & Co.
Publication Date:  January 17th, 2012

For seventeen years, Eloise Hart had no idea the world of Faery even existed. Now she has been abducted and trapped in the Rath of Lord Strahan, King of Faery. Strahan was only meant to rule for seven years, as Faery tradition dictates, and then give up his crown to another. But he won't comply, and now chaos threatens both worlds.

The only one who can break his stranglehold on the Faery court is his wife. . . Eloise's aunt Antonia. Using Eloise to lure Antonia, Strahan captures his wife, desperate to end the only threat to his reign. Now Eloise must become the rescuer. Together with her best friends Jo and Devin, she must forge alliances with other Fae, including a gorgeous protector named Lucas, and Strahan's mysterious son, Eldric-who may or may not betray them.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

There are three reasons I wanted to read this book... First, I had heard really good things about Alyxandra Harvey's other books, Haunting Violet and The Drake Chronicles.  Second, I really love the cover; I can't really pinpoint what it is about the cover that drew me in, but it did.  Third, and most importantly, I love books about fae as they are supposed to be (not the cute little things Disney portrays them as).  Holly Black is one of my favorite authors, and THE expert on all things faery, as far as I am concerned, and the synopsis of Stolen Away gave me the impression that Alyxandra Harvey was writing her fae like Holly does.  So, I read Stolen Away and here's what I thought...

I liked it.  I didn't love it, but it was good.  Here's the thing... Over the past few weeks I have read some truly phenomenal books- Cinder, Under the Never Sky, Fracture, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.  That said, I'm probably being a teensy bit harder on this book than I may have been had I been in a reading slump, but so it goes.  Anyway, I did like this book.  It was mostly well written and the story was good.  It was very interesting and it held my attention most of the time.  It did have a couple of dull spots, but overall, it was well paced.  My biggest complaint about the story was that it was told from the POVs of Eloise and Jo.  I don't really get why Jo's POV was important enough to deserve such spotlight; she never really played more than a supporting role, but a huge part of the book was dedicated to her.  The only thing I can figure is that there will be a second book where Jo will play a larger role, but so far, I've heard nothing about that.  The truth is that I liked Jo, and I liked her little side-story, I just didn't like how it was written because it was a huge distraction from Eloise's story, which was the really important one in this book.  I also thought the character development was lacking a little.  I like my characters to feel like friends, I didn't really connect with any of them in that way.  I liked most of the characters, but it was the way I would like an acquaintance.  I think my favorite part of this book had to be the world building.  Alyxandra did a great job with the setting; I loved the rich descriptions of the faery realms, the clothes, the creatures, the park, even the apartment Eloise lived in and the farm Jo's grandparents owned.  If this review was for world-building alone, it would be a 5-star review!

Overall, I think this book was worth reading and would recommend it, especially if you are a fan of the genre.  It was a good book, and if a sequel is written, I will definitely read it, but will probably get it from the library of hope for an advance copy. 

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½  

Grade Level Recommendation:  This book is fine for Middle School and up.  There is some romance, including a couple of make-out scenes, but otherwise, it is pretty clean.  Grades 6 and up (ages 11+).


  1. Thanks for the honest review! I am a fan of fae and Alyxandra Harvey's other books so I think I will give this one a shot anyway. =)

  2. I don't know if it's because you read amazing books before (Loved Statistical Probablity too! ) but this is not the first 2-3star review I see on this one. I'm really disappointed with the feedback it's getting I may just skip my galley of this. Lovely written review though if I decide to get into it I'll know what to expect! :)

    Xpresso Reads


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