Twig Starfig wants nothing more than to settled into mated life with his wizard, Quinn Broomsparkle. Their clan of four, which also includes Quinn’s brother, Zak, and their resident red fury, Bill, is thriving. But nothing is ever simple for Twig and Quinn. When an atypical orc approaches them for an investigative job, Twig wants to say no, but Quinn convinces Twig to take a chance on Dandelion Cupcake Sparkles McGee (though you can call him Dandy).
But as they begin to investigate for the missing orc stones, something much more foul is afoot. People are being gruesomely murdered and, since it seems they have a connection to Twig and Quinn, the fingers are pointing in their direction. Things get even worse when a red fury is implicated and Bill is the only red fury in Elder. Things don’t look good for the Starfig Investigations team.
Now, with two cases to solve, the clan won’t stop until they have answers. Twig is determined to not only clear Bill’s name, but to help the broken-hearted demon. And even though Dandy is an orc, and therefore universally hated by dragons, Twig can’t help but find the boisterous and flamboyant orc endearing. Throw in a meddling EBI agent, and Twig’s father being, well, himself, and Twig can’t catch a break.
Things, of course, go from bad to worse and time is running out. Twig will do whatever it takes to keep everyone safe, and he will not lose anyone his dragon considers theirs. With death, magic, and mayhem on their tails, it’ll take everything they have to make it through unscathed. And maybe be stronger as creatures, and as a clan, when all is said and done.
Fairy and Impartial is another romp in Maslow’s fantastical world of Starfig Investigations. This time we go back to Twig’s first person POV, after the last book being from Quinn’s perspective, and I have to say, I was glad to see it. Twig has internal sense of humor that always appeals to me, and he’s so grumpy and yet not at the same time, that I just adore him. Not to mention, with so much of this book being focused on Twig’s clan, which is of his own creation and includes beings he chose, it made sense for Twig to narrate this one. I love the found family aspect of these books, and it’s strongest here, with new characters being introduced that I can’t wait to see more of.
Once again, I really enjoyed traipsing through this world that Maslow has created. It’s wonderfully detailed and full fleshed out, filled with the trademark humor and over-the-topness one would expect from this series, as well as characters aplenty and tons of twists and turns. I was sucked in pretty quickly and turning pages to find out what happens next. Though I will say there were some sections here where I felt that there were a lot of words but not a lot of plot movement, and it could have done with, perhaps, a bit of tightening up. The pacing was a touch off for me, as there were some sections that seemed to drag instead of picking up the action.
Overall, though, I really liked this book. Twig is a favorite character of mine, both in the series and in fiction in general. There’s a lot going on and many twists and turns. It’s a rollercoaster, to be sure (and in one scene that’s literal). Maslow has a gift for weaving stories that suck you in and keep you engaged. I loved seeing the progression with Twig and Quinn’s relationship, and I love how solid they are with each other now. Even more is the relationship between all the members of the clan and how the dynamics between them are continuing to shift and grow. It forms a really solid backbone for the story, which takes the reader in a lot of places. Not only with the cases, but emotionally as well.
I’m invested in these characters and in this series, and can’t wait for more. It’s an easy recommendation to all who like fantasy that has an intentionally OTT feel.