This is the first time in years that I started and completed a series in the same year. I usually start a series, maybe read the second book, and don’t complete the series until years later. Of course, Robin Hobb’s novels are exceptions. The only reason why I’ve made it so far in them (I’ll begin the Rain Wild Chronicles soon) is because I’m buddy-reading them with Emily from Embuhlee liest. If not for this buddy-read, I’d probably be stuck at the beginning of the Liveship Traders books.
Fairwick Chronicles (book 3)
A can’t-miss read for fans of Deborah Harkness and Karen Marie Moning, The Angel Stone weaves a tale of ancient folklore and thrilling fantasy with a passionate love story that transcends time.
For Callie McFay, a half-witch/half-fey professor of folklore and Gothic literature, the fight to save the enchanted town of Fairwick, New York, is far from over. After a hostile takeover by the Grove—a sinister group of witches and their cohorts—many of the local fey have been banished or killed, including Callie’s one true love. And in place of the spirit of tolerance and harmony, the new administration at Fairwick College has fostered an air of danger and distrust.
With her unique magical abilities, Callie is the only one who can rescue her friends from exile and restore order to the school—a task that requires her to find the Angel Stone, a legendary talisman of immense power. Propelled on an extraordinary quest back to seventeenth-century Scotland, Callie risks her life to obtain the stone. Yet when she encounters a sexy incarnation of her lost love, she finds the greater risk is to her heart. As the fate of Fairwick hangs in the balance, Callie must make a wrenching choice: reclaim a chance for eternal passion or save everything she holds dear. (Goodreads)
My thoughts: (minor spoilers for first 2 books)
Well, The Angel Stone seems to be the last novel in the Fairwick Chronicles, a paranormal romance trilogy by Carol Goodman, who writes these books under the pseudonym Juliet Dark. The first novel, The Demon Lover, took us to upstate New York where our protagonist Callie McFay is interviewing for a teaching position at Fairwick College. Though she didn’t plan to stay long at the college, which doesn’t match her city taste, and had a boyfriend waiting for her in California (foggy memory, but I’m pretty sure it was California), she impulsively buys a house she is mysteriously drawn to and has nightly trysts with a spirit that she later learns is an incubus. As she learns more about the faerie creatures that inhabit Fairwick town and its surrounding areas, she also learns that she is descended from faeries as well.
The second novel, The Water Witch, picks up after the first, which ended with Callie banishing her incubus. She spends much of the second novel wondering if he’s really gone and becoming more entrenched in faerie politics as she learns more about her connection to Faerie and her magical abilities. We learn in this novel that there’s a rift between the witches as some believe the door to Faerie should close and remain so, while others do not believe in such drastic limitations to travel between the worlds.
The conflicts ignited in The Water Witch grow to an inferno in The Angel Stone as Callie and her friends try to resolve the many problems that resulted from closing the door to Faerie. This causes Callie to time travel to 17th-century Scotland to reconnect with the man her incubus once was and probably still is.
So…did I enjoy it?
Surprisingly, I did. This isn’t the type of story I usually go for and it has time travel, which I do not like, but I was hooked the entire time I read, I loved how descriptive Juliet Dark’s writing is and loved the little jokes she includes about academia:
“Frank was right: the vampires were our best bet for protecting the students from the Alphas. Still, it felt wrong somehow to entrust the welfare of a bunch of young people to bloodsucking creatures of the night—even if they were tenured college professors. Maybe especially since they were tenured college professors.”
I also love the small-town feel of Fairwick and the old house Callie lives in, especially the library and her cute little doorstopper mouse that was made real. It’s the little things that made me enjoy this story. As for the plot, I liked that it built up to a major battle that caused the town and the college, and even those who were once considered the enemies, to join together to defeat a common threat to their community. However, I really do not like time travel and didn’t like that it was included.
I liked how Callie has developed throughout the books to become a formidable defender of those she loves in this one, but I didn’t like that everything was up to her to resolve and I wish her best friend mentioned in the first book made an appearance in this one to show some continuity. However, I do like that her relationship with her grandmother heals by the end of this novel.
I also like the more positive development of romance between Callie and Liam. That’s probably the only thing I liked about the time travel bits. And it was also good to get Liam’s perspective about what he was made into and what he did as an incubus. It made me sympathize with him a teensie bit.
It was okay and I enjoyed reading it. I wouldn’t mind reading more stories set in Fairwick. The books also made me want to go visit upstate New York, so I might do so next fall.
Buy | Borrow | Bypass
If paranormal romance with descriptive writing is your jam, then I recommend the Fairwick Chronicles. I think they might be good for times when you’re between big books and want a quick read, or if you’re in a slump and need something light.