Rating: 3.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

 

Lana Baker is a rake, a charmer, and the best scrabble in Aldgate, London. She’s just not the cleverest, easily caught out when a pretty girl with a pretty mouth pleads with her to both write and then deliver a letter for her … which ends up catching Lana up in the doomed dramatics of Parliament. Part of the problem is that the fairies have gotten tired of the humans spending all their time arguing and pontificating, posturing and self-aggrandizing. Either progress is made … or they shall drown Parliament, from the Speaker herself to the lowest scribe, and start afresh.

Even knowing this, no one in Parliament seems to take the situation seriously. They still bicker like fishwives, waving their hands, stomping their feet, and doing everything they can to make certain that their opposite number is doomed to drown, even if it costs them their own lives. For Lana, this is a bit of a lark. Surely they’ll wake up in time and do … something. Until then, she’s determined to make friends — and friends — with every lady, lass, and lovely girl she can, up to and including Fairy Bugbite, the sharp tongued, bitter, and prickly fairy assigned to watch over the scribes.

And then Lana falls in love. She has no idea who the mystery woman is, having seen her only from an upper balcony with Bugbite while the woman danced in the courtyard below, but she’s determined to find out who she is, and to win her heart.

This is a pretty, silly, and pretty silly romp through romance, fantasy, and farce in equal measure. In a world of women (no men in sight, and babies are given to women through fairy blessings), Lana is quite a ladies … er, lady. She’s bold, fearless, and confident, as well as being lazy, vain, willfully blind, and as thick-skinned and an elephant. If a woman or girl doesn’t take to her flattery at first, Lana’s willing to smile and try again, because surely they just need a chance to warm up to her. And it’s interesting to see this in a woman, rather than a man, to see those suave prince charming mannerisms reframed.

Bugbite, the fairy, is irascible and unpleasant, but with a bit of flowering yeast (a pleasant, pleasing, and calming narcotic), she allows herself to tolerate Lana. It soon becomes more than tolerance as she shares some of her own drugs, mushrooms, leaving them giggling together in quiet corners or wandering through a world of flowers and butterflies as they wander, looking for Lana’s mysterious dancer. It’s clear Bugbite is more drawn to Lana than Lana is to her, but there’s still an ease and relaxation to their friendship.

Due to the constant drugs, it’s hard to see Lana and Bugbite as anything but sleepy and drifty, off in their own world and willfully ignorant of what’s going on around them. Personally, this story is either too long or too short, with just enough world building and character building to hint at something larger, but without enough time taken to make it make sense or to make it feel like it matters — or it’s too bogged down in the plot to focus on the characters beyond how much they enjoy their mood enhancing mushrooms.

Even so, it’s a fun little romp that requires nothing from the reader but to sit back and enjoy. If you’re looking for something simple and quick with a dash of magic, this could be your next read. But, if you want something deeper or denser, or something with just a little more bite, then you might want to wander off to find something else. I enjoyed this, and if you give it a try, I hope you enjoy it, too.

Joyfully Jay