Author: Shona Husk
Release Date: July 2, 2013
The Court of Annwyn #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
Caspian Mort can feel the history in anything he touches, a gift he inherited from his father, the Crown Prince of Annwyn. Devastated over his ex-wife’s infidelity, Caspian has withdrawn from human contact except when working as an antiques dealer.
While assessing the contents of the historic Callaway House he encounters the beautiful Lydia Callaway and senses that her home is haunted by a banished fairy. But what does the dangerous exile want? Unbeknownst to Lydia, she’s the owner of the last remaining portal to Annwyn—a mirror hidden somewhere in the house. To keep Lydia safe, Caspian will have to divulge the secrets of his heritage, and risk losing his heart again.
What G & U are talking about:
This new Court of Annwyn series from Shona Husk is fascinating. Gikany and Una enjoyed the first series we read of hers, Shadowlands Trilogy, but this one is much more engaging. The Outcast Prince is a thrilling start on what will be a darkly political fae series.
Annwyn is the fairy realm. However, this paranormal romance is different from what we have read of “fae” novels in the past. Annwyn and our world are separate but tied. Unrest in Annwyn has rippling affects into ours. If the King and Queen are warring and there is unrest – plagues erupt in our world. It is thoroughly interesting how these two distinct worlds overlap and collide. For those in the real world, Annwyn is both heaven and hell. Although the fae can enter world, there are consequences if they stay too long – consequences that lead to death.
Lydia Callaway has inherited the Callaway house. The Callaways are a little notorious in their part of the world. Her grandmother, in order to save her home after her husband was killed in the war, turned the old plantation into a meeting place (for men and their mistresses). While the Callaways had been a name of respect and genteelness, it became associated with whispers of scandals and wild parties. Lydia, a public relations person, owns her own mortgage and doesn’t feel able to keep her grandmother’s plantation. She turns to Caspian Mort to handle the evaluation of her grandmother’s estate so she can decide whether she can afford to keep it or not.
Caspian is more than what he seems. He is the son of the Prince of Annwyn, born in the mortal world. Caspian is bound by the laws of Annwyn due to his lineage, but is also mortal trying to live in the world he has always known. Because of his ties to Annwyn, he is psychometric; he has the ability to touch objects and learn the history of them. This skill is what allows him to be successful at his antiquities job.
When Lydia and Caspian meet, there is an undeniable connection. Both have been hurt and stigmatized by their past experiences. Watching them as they stumble along from a working relationship to a romantic one is passionate and endearing. We enjoyed how their journey was woven into the adventure of finding the Window, a mirror that grants access into Annwyn – something a banished fairy would kill for. Caspian, with his ability to see the fae, knows something is after the mirror. He hopes to find the mirror before the Grey (the banished fairy) finds it.
The world is awesome. Gikany and Una loved the world that The Outcast Prince takes place in. The descriptions of Annwyn were both surreal and yet imaginable. Although this is the first book in this new series, we were confused at times at some “little” things. For example – a banished fairy can become a grey, Bogart, imp or brownie. It is by holding on to one or two particular things that causes them to change, they are: power, magic, appearance, stature. We tried to figure it out while writing the review, and we get them mixed up. Not that it is vital to the plot, but in easing us better into the world and its rules, a glossary might help.
One aspect that bothered us about The Outcast Prince was that although Caspian and Lydia were three-dimensional characters, Caspian was more thoroughly sketched out. Lydia, for being in public relations and having this somewhat demanding job, was home quite a bit. It felt a bit flat along with the relationship with her mother (who abandoned her). We found it odd that her mother was able to disappear, when she bore the Callaway name (or we assumed she did). The way her mother popped in and out during the will issues (well, not her but her lawyer) was a bit flat for us as well. However, they were not large of enough issues to distract us from the main overall story arc (nor the steaminess between Lydia and Caspian).
We look forward to learning more of the background of Shea and the Queen as well as the story between the King and Queen. Much seemed to center around their relationships in the big picture and yet we had so little back-story of them. Even if it is in novella format, we’d love to see and experience some of that back-story. It might even aid in cementing the world-building.
Although there are a few issues, overall we enjoyed The Outcast Prince, and eagerly look forward to the next novel in the Court of Annwyn series, Lord of the Hunt. If you are looking for something new in paranormal that centers on the fae, pick this series up, you might get lost in it!
Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)