Ethan returns from a week-long disappearance into the Nevernever with his girlfriend MacKenzie and a lot of explaining to do. After passing off the adventure to parents and police as an impulsive New York getaway, Ethan hopes to return to life as normal. But with his faery Sight keeping him aware of the fey all around him and making him something of a target, “normal” seems like an awfully tall order.
When Ethan and MacKenzie receive a request for help from a desperate faerie and friend, they prepare themselves for another dive into the faerie world. Together with Kierran, they seek to uncover a dark secret and prevent the death of Kierran’s true love. Ethan only hopes the price to save her won’t prove more than they can pay.
Once again Kagawa brings forth a dark and dangerous world of faeries and monsters, in which the most dangerous move of all is to bargain with the fey. As Ethan and his friends seek to do just that, they collide with a cast of characters both familiar and foreign, fun and freakish. While other novels in this series possessed powerful narrative and strong central characters, this one seemed to keep readers at bay in a tone that tells the story but doesn’t draw readers in to experience it. Ethan’s standoffish manner and constant overthinking made connecting with him difficult. Kagawa’s writing seems to shine more in her female-led narrative, packing more punch with earlier books like The Iron Daughter and her Blood of Eden series.
Ethan and his girlfriend discuss whether/when to have sex briefly. He states that he will wait until she is ready. She wants to engage in sex before she dies of leukemia.
Brief references to a time during which faeries were worshipped and feared by humans.
Brief battle scenes. No graphic details.
A vendor at a faery market offers Ethan several different potions. Ethan refuses.