“One day, you will be old enough to start reading fairytales again.” - C.S. Lewis
I was lucky enough to be approved for an ARC of Realm of Lore and Lies by Clair Wright through NetGalley. I've been on a fantasy kick lately, so this sounded right up by my alley. And even better, this is the first in a series (yet to be written), so if I ended up loving it, I'd have more books to read in the future!
In a Realm of Lore and Lies, we meet Aisling, better known as Ash by her friends. She is from a Fianna clan, which is made up of people who can see through fae glamours, but she ran away from that life over seven years ago. That is, until a banshee visits her one night, leading to Ash discovering her brutally murdered mother at a portal that leads into another realm. Unfortunately, Ash is the prime suspect of the human police and now the official matriarch of the Breen clan. Although her clan is forced to honor her birthright, they aren't happy about it. Whether they like it or not, Ash is set on leading her clan's warriors into the competition to join the King's Highguard. Throughout her journey trying to identify her mother's murderer and lead her clan to a win, she meets new allies and has to decide if she can trust old ones.
I was really excited to read this book based on the synopsis, but unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations. There are definitely things I liked about this book, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't what I had hoped it would be. One thing I definitely liked? The Irish lore and mythology. It was really interesting getting to hear about some of the mythology that makes up Irish culture. I also loved how much you can tell Claire Wright put into creating this world.
Unfortunately, there were more things I disliked about the book, but they still didn't fully take away from the experience. I think the biggest thing about this book that made it a bit hard for me to really love was that is just was a bit much. There were a lot of character POVs, which I do love, but it just seemed that no one or two characters were really developed into what I could see Claire could make them into. There was also a lot going on. Sometimes it was too much to keep track of, and it detracted from the story a bit. Plus, the romantic relationship between Ash and Set just didn't have enough romance for me. I thought there was going to be a lot more to their relationship than there actually was.
Now, despite that critique, I will say that this book seemed to be a lot about creating Ash's world and leading up to more in the next book. The very ending of this book, it got me. I was laying in bed with about 25 minutes left in the book (thanks Kindle for always letting me know how much longer I have to go) when Derek said he was ready to go to bed. I decided that was fine. I could finish the book in the morning. Well, as I laid there, trying to fall asleep, I decided I couldn't wait lol. If the rest of the book was as good as the last, say, 10%, I'd have flown through this book. There's a chance the next book in the series will be a bit more focused and more fast-paced, which I prefer in books.
Overall, I give Realm of Lore and Lies three stars. I really wish I could give it more, but it didn't live up to my expectations based on the blurb.