All that Glows
by Ryan Graudin
HarperTeen, $9.99 trade paper, ISBN-10 0062187414, February 2014
Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test. When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.
Lovers of all things Faerie will have no trouble getting into this romance with a dash of mystery. Graudin’s mingling of present-day Britain with Celtic mythology makes for a light and bubbly modern fairy tale. Emrys, despite her occasional head-in-the-clouds moments over Richard, is a strong and capable heroine.
However, someone who isn’t predisposed to ador-fae-tion may have trouble staying with this story for the long haul. The romance is sweet and the heroine strong, but the hero is bland to the point that it’s hard to imagine Emrys wanting to give up immortality for a life with him. Also, a lot of emphasis is placed on Richard’s potential to become a great king. I understand that the pressure on the British Royal Family must be tremendous as it is for most high profile celebrities, but Emrys often makes it sound as though Richard will actually be running the country instead of serving as a figurehead. Quibbles aside, this is fun, girly fare.
Recommend to: Fantasy/romance fans, fans of fairy stories in the Cyn Balog vein
To buy or not to buy: Additional purchase