I enjoyed reading the Fae Prophecy. It’s a nice read, but not enough to make me fall in love and rave about it. It’s a short read and the first book in the series. I’m not entirely sure if I should classify it as Middlegrade or YA, but, in any case, it features a young, female protagonist, set in a world with many different races (the fae, shifters, witches, elves, goblins, humans, you name it).
Toni Cox is originally from Germany but moved to South Africa as a teenager. She’s already published quite some books, and all are self-published (included this one). I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, so here it comes!
Genre: Middlegrade / YA Action Fantasy, Fae | Publisher: Self-published
Right at the start, dark magic is attacking the castle in the Fae kingdom of Draeguard. Dana’s father, the King, now suddenly stands accused of treason. Dana must flee so she can discover the source of her mysterious powers and to absolve her father from the accusation. It leads her right into the hands of someone she thought was a sworn enemy: a Shifter. She soon finds that her knowledge of the outside world might not have been as accurate as she thought.
It’s a good start to the story, as we’re right in the action, and I found it intriguing enough to continue reading. However, as the story progresses it often feels a bit samey in that Dana starts overthinking, expecting the worst, and pushing away the ones trying to help. Also, rarely anyone ever answers her questions. It made the goal of the quest a bit of an anti-climax around the midpoint.
The Fae Prophecy also felt rushed to me; it’s such a large world with many different races and complications and such. I understand that Toni Cox didn’t want to get into all of that, but some more background might have been nice. But not just that, sometimes it was difficult to follow the story because they seemed to jump from one place to the next. Or, for instance, she just seems to learn how to use her strange magic without anyone really teaching her. How? And at the start of the story, she gets a book that’s supposed to be important. But then… she never looks in it? Why?
I can’t say I really liked Dana as a character. Sure, she’s brave and wants what’s best for the people she cares about, but she’s also quite prejudiced, and the story focuses a lot on the fact that she’s had a sheltered upbringing and knows nothing of the world around her. I felt she was quite whiny at times. Though, in her defense, she did have to run away, has strange magic that’s not native to Fae that she can’t control, and her father is locked in a dungeon. And she’s only still a teenager. So I suppose she’s allowed to whine every now and then.
The side-characters weren’t very well developed though. I liked Thomas; he was kind and seemed to put up with Dana’s mood swings and her lack of trust. But other than a travel companion and crush, he doesn’t seem to serve a large role in the plot. Same with her best friend Alyssa. She’s there in the beginning, but then barely mentioned again. Like, why was she there at all?
As I said before, it’s a large and complex world, and it could’ve done with a bit more detail. In general, I found the world Toni created very interesting and would’ve loved to know more about the different races and their relation to each other. We do get somewhat of a description of Draeguard, the Fae Kingdom, which is nice. The neighborhood seems to be divided into flower districts, which I thought was a nice touch considering their magic comes from nature. In the rest of the story, we do go through some towns, but it’s never really described what the towns look like, or what kinds of races live there, and if they live there in harmony or if there’s a strive of some kind.
The different kinds of magic that exist are also a bit vague. I suspect this is largely because Dana doesn’t know anything about other kinds of magic than Fae magic, so it does make sense. The Fae magic is used at times and is clearly shown to come from nature and is in connection to nature. The strange blue magic that Dana has is a different story. Dana doesn’t really know what it is, so we also don’t really know what it is. I do hope that we will find out in the sequels!
In terms of writing, I think it was clear and easy to read. One thing that did annoy me was that a lot of the chapters end in cliff-hangers. This almost gives it a soap-opera type of feel. It’s fine by me if it happens in some chapters, but now it was almost every time. I don’t think that’s a good way to get people to continue reading. And the ending is also pretty much a cliff-hanger. Now, I understand that series want to leave some questions open, so people feel compelled to read the next one, but here pretty much every question remains unanswered. So I can’t say I was satisfied by the end.
Overall, I never felt anxious or excited, since the progressions felt quite flat to me. Sure, Dana gets in progressively more danger, but somehow I never got the feeling she actually was in danger. I think it’s because she never really got hurt. It made things seem to go too easy.
So, all in all, the Fae Prophecy was an entertaining story, and I do think I will read the sequel. If you’re looking for an easy read about a Fae Princess trying to save her Father and Kingdom from evil magic, I would totally recommend it. But do know that you will need to read the other books to find out everything. It’s also quite rushed, relies a bit too much on cliff-hangers, and didn’t evoke a lot of emotions in me. But the premise itself is nice, the story reads fast, and there’s still a lot of potential for the creation of this world.
Have you read this book or others by Toni Cox? Would you recommend it? Do you like stories about Fae? Let me know in the comments!