The Sidhe is Book 1 in The Heart of All Worlds series by Charlotte Ashe.
In the nation of Villalu…
Since his childhood, Brieden Lethiscir has admired The Sidhe, the beautiful and magical beings native to the Faerie world outside his homeland of Villalu. Though he grew up in a culture accepting of Sidhe enslavement by Villalu’s elite, Brieden turns against the practice when he becomes a steward to Prince Dronyen, who is viciously abusive of his sidhe slave Sehrys. Captivated by the handsome and mysterious sidhe slave, Brieden vows to free and return Sehrys to his homeland.
As they escape the capital and navigate a treacherous path to the border, Breiden and Sehrys grow close. Breiden soon learns both the true power of The Sidhe, and that the world that he thought he knew is not what it once seemed. If they survive to reach the border, he will have to make a choice: the love of his life, or the fate of his world.
Right. RIGHT. Prepare yourself for all of the feelings.
When I was younger, I loved fantasy. I love the world-building, and the magic, and the sheer possibility that comes with SFF. However, as I got older, I read less and less of it. Until this year, I probably hadn’t read any for about four years. I thought that the magic of fantasy had just disappeared.
Well. UNTIL NOW. The Sidhe, along with Labyrinth Lost, have completely changed my view of what fantasy is capable of. Ashe has included everything I could ever have wanted. The world-building is intricate, without being too much to understand. There are seedy cities and magic is used to create beauty, as well as to perpetuate underground economies. There are two characters – Brieden and Sehrys – who are so wonderfully familiar to me that I can’t help but be wrapped up in their story. For some reason, even as a bisexual lady myself, I never realised that there could be LGBT+ stories in SFF. While elves and dragons weren’t far-fetched, LGBT+ characters seemed to be. I’m glad my unconscious bias about LGBT+ characters in genre fiction is changing.
The Sidhe is also one of the hottest books I’ve read in a while. I read the majority of it on a train ride to London, and let me tell you, I was blushing like mad. However, there is a lot of discussion of rape and differing opinions about the definition of consent. I thought that, for the most part, Ashe tackled these subjects with tact, but I’m adding a warning all the same.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Unlike anything I’ve read for a while, I was so totally in that world and rooting for Brieden and Sehrys. (Who are the most adorable couple to ever adorable). Book 2, The King and the Criminal, is being released this month. My review will be up on the 20th, so look out for that 😀