I absolutely fell in love with the previous book, which was one of my outstanding books last year – see my review of The Green Man’s Heir. This largely follows the genre conventions of urban fantasy where a protagonist with unique gifts helps to fight crime. The difference being that this isn’t in some city centre, it’s in the heart of the English countryside and the paranormal beings are dryads, naiads and nixes – not to mention the Green Man.
When you do a good job for someone, there’s a strong chance they’ll offer you more work or recommend you elsewhere. So Daniel Mackmain isn’t particularly surprised when his boss’s architect brother asks for his help on a historic house renovation in the Cotswolds.
Except Dan’s a dryad’s son, and he soon realises there’s a whole lot more going on. Ancient malice is stirring and it has made an alliance in the modern world. The Green Man expects Dan to put an end to this threat. Seeing the danger, Dan’s forced to agree. The problem is he’s alone in a place he doesn’t know, a hundred miles or more away from any allies of his own.
I dived back into this world with huge delight and immediately got swept back up into Dan’s problems. You don’t have to read The Green Man’s Heir to appreciate this one as each story is a standalone – but you are denying yourself a wonderful reading experience if you don’t. McKenna has managed to produce something unique – an urban fantasy adventure set in the heart of rural England. This gives the story a flavour all of its own as the countryside around the neglected stately home that Dan is working on is vividly described, along with the characters he encounters.
I liked the real sense of threat evoked by the creepy Aiden, a really well-rounded antagonist who I loved to hate throughout as he manipulates the lost teenagers who have drifted into his orbit because they come from socially deprived backgrounds with no prospects. The poignancy of their trapped existence is vividly depicted without any kind moralising or ‘telling’ by McKenna.
The aspect I also love about this series is the real sense of otherness about the supernatural beings – they are all disconcertingly odd and rather scary and despite the fact he is half-dryad, Dan doesn’t get any inside knowledge about their motivations. I read far later than I should have done as I couldn’t put this one down – but the snag is that I am now suffering from withdrawal symptoms as I am out the other side of this fabulous world and feeling rather bereft as a result. This is one of my outstanding reads of the year.
Highly recommended for anyone who has a pulse…
Now that there is a sequel, I need to go back and read the first book, which I probably threatened to do when I read your first review😁
I completely understand, Tammy. I wish I had a pound for every time I promised myself that I would get hold of a book I’d just read about in a review… That said, this is something a bit special:))
A good antagonist that you loved to hate sounds like the perfect nudge toward this book . 🙂
And what an intriguing cover…
Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome, Maddalena. To be honest – I’m in two minds about the cover, as I think it looks like a horror story. And it isn’t.
WOW! This sounds really good. I admit I love the idea of a fae series that explores fae creatures that normally aren’t the focus. I also love that its an urban fantasy too. I wouldn’t have picked it up from the premise TBH. The Green Man’s Heir added to my TBR!! ❤️
Thank you, Dani:)) It is an unusual, quirky series – and is urban fantasy with an English countryside twist.
Why isn’t there more hours in the day. This series sounds fantastic and it sounds like something I would love. I am a bit swamped at the moment and obviously I’m already behind but I want this and the first book, they’re on the list – birthday and Christmas coming up so …
Oh goody! I think you’d love this series, Lynn:))
Yes I think the cover does look more like horror. It is fascinating to have paranormals which are less often featured. Urban fantasy is my favorite. On to the staggering TBR.
Oh yes! And I make no apologies for jumping up and down about this one:))). A fabulous read! And not a hint of YA anything, by the way.
That face is soooo creepy! Definitely helps give that other-worldly vibe you describe here. x
Ah yes – but this one isn’t horror – not at all. A bit creepy and there is some dark magic going on, but it is firmly an urban fantasy set in the middle of the English countryside.
Ah, I see! I guess I’ve got that Halloween mindset already 🙂
Sorry to disappoint:)))
LOL! I’m sure I’ll get over it 😉
I have to confess… I can’t stop staring at the cover. And I remember book 1 also having a captivating one. I really have to get around to reading it.
I hope you manage to do so as I would love to hear your thoughts on it. I loved the third book too…