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January 3, 2023

Unseelie by Ivelisse Housman ~ a Review

by MK French

Iselia “Seelie” Graygrove looks like her twin, Isolde, but is an autistic changeling left by the fae as an infant. Seelie has unpredictable magic and can't fit in, but that magic draws the twins into the hunt for a fabled treasure. When it falls apart, the sisters make unexpected allies and reveals a mystery involving the history of humans and fae alike. The secrets of the faeries are incredibly valuable, and Seelie must learn to harness her magic.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of young adult fantasy novel Unseelie by Ivelisse Housman
January 2023; Inkyard Press; 978-1335428592
audio, ebook, print (432 pages) young adult fantasy

is book one of a duology. The fae and humans live in separate but occasionally overlapping worlds, and changelings are sometimes left in the human world as the result of bargains. Festival days also let the two worlds mingle, and it's during this time period that the twins meet Raze and Olani during an attempted heist. It goes wrong very quickly, and the four are forced to work together. Seelie has little patience for this, and it doesn't help matters when her magic goes awry. She's scared of it and the loss of control, and hates feeling catered to or stared at like an oddity.

Seelie is autistic, but it's not outright said in the text. In this kind of fantasy setting, they don't have that word. But she has the sensory issues, the difficulty reading social cues, and problems with figures of speech and getting all of her thoughts out coherently. She gets nervous, so people with anxiety can definitely sympathize with her and know what she's going through. Seelie wants so hard to have her world set to rights, to return to how it was in the past. Unfortunately, there are so many complications and none of it goes according to the plan. This leaves her entering faerie realms, trusting Raze and Olani, arguing with her sister, and making bargains she knows she shouldn't. I completely lost myself in her world and her feelings, and immediately wanted to read the next book in the duology. It should be just as immersive and entertaining as this one.

Buy Unseelie at Amazon

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