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  • Writer's pictureKori

Realm of Lore and Lies Book Review

You know what they say: "If you want something done right, do it yourself." That's exactly what Claire Wright set out to do with her Fair Ones series—write a story based on accurate Irish culture and mythology. Y'all know we love anything to do with faeries and Irish myths, so of course I jumped on this.


Let's dig into my thoughts on Wright's debut novel, Realm of Lore and Lies.


Realm of Lore and Lies Book Review Coffee Book and Candle

Genre: Adult Fantasy / Indie Fantasy


Category: Spooky Read

Want to know more about how we categorize books? See our Lexicon for details.


RATING: 3.75/5 Stars

Plot: 3/5 stars

Characters: 3.5/5 stars

World: 5/5 stars


 

Nothing is ever as it seems, especially when Fair Ones are involved.


In a land that harbours two realms, magical creatures and dangerous games are a way of life and death for the travelling Fianna clans. It is an honour to visit Tír na nÓg, even if the price is pretending Fair Ones don’t hunt humans for sport.


Ireland native Aisling never imagined she’d be alone, living a double life. But when your family shares the ability to see through Fae glamour, keeping secrets isn’t something you do for fun. You do it to stay alive.


A murder leaves Aisling motherless, thrusting her into the position of matriarch in a world she thought she’d never return to. Teaming up with an unlikely band of allies for a competition steeped in peril, she can’t resist the distraction warrior Setanta offers. Brooding, gorgeous and impossibly strong, he gives her a chance to be something she never could before—herself.


Bonded by troubled pasts and deadly circumstances, the team of misfits must face damaging truths as they try to stop their worlds from colliding.

 

PLOT


Irish mythology, dark fae, murder, an ensemble crew, magical competitions, romance...what more could we want? Add in the encyclopedia, pronunciation guide, and map at the front of the book and I was GEEKING.


Realm of Lore and Lies starts off strong with a great opening line and keeps you hooked with mystery and magic. Each chapter flows into the next, continuing a scene or conversation and making it hard to stop reading.


It was a good read that could have been great with a smidge more editing. But the errors weren't enough to prevent me from enjoying the story and wanting to see what happens in the sequel.



CHARACTERS


The story plays out through four characters' points of view: Aisling (the FMC), Tiernan (the hacker), and Setanta and Maebh (the twin warriors). Each character has a distinct personality and traumas, making them unique and lovable in their own ways.


Aisling is practically alone in the world—cut off from her family and heritage, and unwelcome to many in the Fianna clans. She acts unbothered, but she has been hurt again and again, and has a lot working against her. Yet she's strong and rises to the challenge when she needs to.


Tiernan is a sensitive soul with a brilliant mind and brave heart. He's caring and fiercely loyal. He might have been my favorite, but it's hard to choose between him and Maebh.


Speaking of...Maebh works her ass off to prove herself. She's spent most of her life as the disappointment, living in her twin brother's shadow. She loves her brother deeply, but she understandably wants the recognition she deserves. She can be angry, bitter, and a mess at times, I can't blame her. I can't help but feel for her, and it's so satisfying how she refuses to take crap from anyone and stands up to (and for) others.


Setanta is the golden boy / macho warrior, but there's more to him than that. He's a protector through and through, loves his sister, is sweet, and is plagued by a mysterious ability he has no control over.



What I love most about these characters is that the women work together and empower each other, and the men exhibit healthy masculinity and respect for the women. It's very refreshing.



WORLD


I knew when the story opened in an Irish café with magical creatures that I was going to be hooked. Seeing modern and mystical, "old world" settings collide is always fun. I love how the magic and technology contrast with and complement one another. The tension caused by magic bleeding into the mundane world and wreaking havoc is exciting.


But it's not all cozy—between the settings, murder investigation, dangerous creatures, mystery, and Irish history and mythology, Realm of Lore and Lies has the kind of dark, lush atmosphere that we can't get enough of. We often fantasize about being whisked away to a fae realm, but this book illustrates why it wouldn't be all revels and romance.



TL;DR


Realm of Lore and Lies is a dark fantasy steeped in Irish lore, mystery, and suspense. It's about loss, trauma, and coming together. As the characters work together to uncover secrets and find things lost to time, you'll be held in suspense and endeared by their bonds. I would recommend this book if you like:


🍀Irish history and lore

🍀Diverse ensemble casts

🍀Dark faeries

🍀Magical competitions

🍀Murder mysteries

🍀Women helping other women

🍀Healthy masculinity


If this sounds up your alley, you can get a copy at your usual retailers or find it on Kindle Unlimited! Check it out before book two, Realm of Trials and Trickery, comes out in September! If you read it or have already read it, don't forget to let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or on one of our social media platforms.


Realm of Lore and Lies book review Coffee, Book, and Candle

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