Thursday, January 4, 2024

Review: The Fey Hotel by Vermilion H. Baine

by Vermilion H. Baine
Release Date: January 14, 2024
2024 Vermilion H Baine
Ebook ARC Edition; 459 Pages
ISBN: 979-8988814405
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy / Romance
Source: Review copy from author

4.5 / 5 Stars

Avalon, sent to restore the failing reputation of the Refuge on the Moor, carries a secret that could lead to her own destruction. A secret she’s kept since birth, and one that the grumpy, short-tempered innkeeper becomes the first to discover.

Elden is the unwilling manager of a once great, and magical, hotel—that is failing under his inexperienced hand. When he reluctantly requests the help of a hotel management company, he’s introduced to Avalon—someone that has more in common with him than either of them knows.

They fight their past and one another, but the pair must learn to work together—not only to save the inn, but to save everyone they love.
My Thoughts
The Fey Hotel did not disappoint and I enjoyed it thoroughly. There are so many things going for it, including a realistic romance, a cute giant dog, an intriguing political system (existing between the fey and the humans), sisterly loyalty and love, family dysfunction, dangerous creatures, and lots of unexpected action scenes. To be fair, I am not your typical romance reader as I gravitate more towards horror and thriller/suspense, but I was in the mood for some cozy fantasy and I am so glad I gave this one a shot.

Both Avalon and Elden were fun characters and I enjoyed learning more about them as the story progressed. Avalon was quite sassy and witty, and I liked how she held her own against the fey creatures she had to deal with as the story progressed. Elden, who sort of reminded me of Thor (at least that was the picture that kept forming in my head) because he wielded this huge axe and wore his armour all the time, being the warden to the portal of the fey lands.  Both characters were immensely relatable, were charming and were so much fun to read about.  
While I did like all of the other characters, even the enemies, I don't quite feel they were as developed as Avalon and Elden, and I especially had a beef with the way Odele was portrayed some of the time. It was revealed right from the beginning that Odele was a banshee and when the arrived at the inn, she craved her personal space and needed time to develop her own friendships. I found her interesting and wanted to learn more about her as she was the cause of one of Avalon's afflictions, but then one incident happened and suddenly, her personality shifted without warning, and I was baffled by the change. Although I understood the motives, I didn't like the change and the behaviour she exhibited because it was quite contrary to before and it didn't make sense to me. I get the author was trying to portray how close the sisters were and how they protected each other, but this came close to obsessiveness, possessiveness, and being cringe-worthy.

The story the author created was fun, full of banshees, witches, fey, will-o'-the-wisps, naiads, gorgons, humans, and other magical beings. I thought the writing was great, slowly revealing the world and its issues to the reader, letting us figure out things as we read, letting us explore with Avalon as she learned about the fey lands. There were lots of twists and turns, and I was pleasantly surprised by the complexity of the plot.  The pacing of the story was on point, and the big stories were given time to develop and expand while the smaller mysteries were solved quickly and efficiently. There is still some big mystery behind all the events happening in this book, but the overall ending is satisfying. 

The Fey Hotel was a fantastic read. The world building and character development were good, and the story moved along quickly with some interesting twists and turns. If you are a fan of portal fantasies, slow-burn romance, fantasy, some political intrigue, then this book is definitely for you. I can't wait to get my hands on the second book in this series.



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