Narrator: Greg Boudreaux
Length: 8 hours, 16 minutes
Twig Starfig is a rare mix in the Elder, part dragon and part fairy. He doesn’t quite fit in anywhere, even though his domineering father wants him under his thumb and on the council. But Twig likes his independence and works as a private investigator, his dragon half making him great at finding valuable things. When Twig is approached by a unicorn to retrieve his horn, he can’t help but be dazzled by the man’s beauty and magical allure. When the unicorn can’t pay and offers up temporary ownership of his indentured servant, Quinn Broomsparkle, in lieu of payment, Twig reluctantly agrees. Twig has no interest in “owning” anyone, but he feels for Quinn, especially when he sees how badly he is treated.
Twig figures he will leave Quinn at home while he sets out to find the horn, but the outspoken, strong willed Quinn is having none of that. Soon the two are traveling across the Elder realm, meeting giants and befriending ghost parrots, battling zombies and encountering demons. Along the way, Twig finds he really likes Quinn. In fact, his dragon half is pretty sure that he wants Quinn for his mate. But Twig is not interested in being tied down or the serious connection that comes with being mates. Not to mention that Quinn is a human and he belongs to a unicorn. Getting involved is just a bad idea.
As the men spend more time together, they both realize they are falling for one another. Twig even begins to consider that maybe he and Quinn could have a life together after all. Now they have to find the horn, stay alive, and figure out if there is a way to get Quinn from the unicorn’s evil clutches.
Oh, this is a really delightful story, I totally loved it! Meghan Maslow has created such a fun world here populated by all kids of supernatural creatures. There is great world building with lots of detail, yet never info dumping or overwhelming the story. We meet fairies, unicorns, demons, giants, ghosts, and more, and each group is cleverly developed and incorporated into the book. There is a playfulness here that is a lot of fun, but also a lot of depth to the world Maslow has created.
I adored Twig right from the start. He just jumps off the page and captured my attention immediately. He and Quinn are so good together as two men who don’t quite fit in anywhere. Twig is stuck between his fairy and dragon sides, not fully accepted in either group. It has made him independent and a loner and he fears getting too attached to Quinn. For Quinn’s part, he is a human in a non-human realm, sold into indentured servitude with a cruel master who is only beautiful on the surface. We learn more about Quinn’s backstory as the book goes on, but he too doesn’t quite fit and I loved the way the men end up working together. There are some struggles and some miscommunication, but overall they are a great team and I loved them together.
I listened to this in audio with narrator Greg Boudreaux and he does an excellent job. This is a story populated by tons of side characters, none of them human, and Boudreaux does an amazing job with all of their voices. He even manages to keep continuity between species, giving the fairies similar sounding voices to one another for example. Boudreaux also really captures the emotion of the story well. There is a part where Twig is full of pride and exhilaration, and it just comes through so powerfully through the audio. You can just feel his emotion and it connected me so strongly with the story. So while I would recommend this one in either format, the audio definitely added to my enjoyment of the book.
Overall I just loved this story and am so excited for more adventures as the series continues. The world Maslow has created is fun, I just loved Twig and Quinn together, and the story is really entertaining. I am definitely looking forward to more and can certainly recommend By Fairy Means or Foul.