I'm a bookworm of the highest caliber! If you see me, I'll probably be reading. There's nothing I love more than finding a good book, and then sharing it with the world!
The Beltane Escape manages to seamlessly blend together a bit of magic, a bit of myth, and a whole lot of historical fiction. Although I'm not generally a fan of most historical fiction, if you throw in just enough magic to make it a Fantasy novel I'll gladly snatch it up! I'm happy to say that Ariella Moon succeeded at doing just that.
When I first opened this book, and found myself in the middle of a fight between The Lady of the Lake and Merlin, I knew this would be something I'd be interested in. In fact, had it been a story solely about those two, I would have been thrilled. I was soon introduced to Lady Fenella though, the protagonist of this book, and I slowly warmed up to her. A young heiress to a massive thanedom, Lady Fenella's life has never really been her own. I felt for her, and was eager to learn more about her.
Which actually brings me to the fact that Ariella Moon does an excellent job of slowly building her characters. Instead of throwing all the information out at once, I grew to know Fenella better over the course of the book. I saw her strength right out of the gate, but the more I read the more I saw what a complex person she was. It was the same with all the characters, in fact. The fact that there were no infodumps felt nice. It allowed me to get lost in the story.
In terms of plot, that's where this book and I had a bit of a falling out. The story itself is well-paced, regarding both pacing and characterization. However it never felt as exciting as I felt it should. I wanted more tension, more excitement. Once the Fairy Folk came into play, things picked up a lot. Still, the writing never really grabbed me. I felt like someone looking in, rather than being an actual part of the story.
I can forgive all of that though, because the ending was fabulous. I love endings that aren't necessarily a cliffhanger, but more of an elipsis. Endings that aren't frustrating, but actually leave you excited for more. Lady Fenella has my attention! I'd follow her further down the rabbit hole for sure.