Broken Wings by LJ Baker

(8.0/10) This really is a romance from out of this world.

As its tag line states, this really is a romance from out of this world. It is set in a fantasy world like the human one all the characters live in, the fairy realm. All the different types of fairies coexist but no one knows about a certain fairy whose love for another of the fairy realm could cause problems for her in society.

Rye Woods is smitten with dryad Flora With, they are like two different types of fairy, and Rye already has a teenage sister, is a poor labourer and lives in a run down area that could be called a slum in many ways. Flora though is an artist who lives in a tree top on the good side of town and thinks their love will never amount to much until they meet and start talking about their lives, their secrets, and Rye’s secrets above all have the power to ruin fairy kind. Holly, her kid sister is stuck in the same kind of rut Rye is, but with little personal victories like coming first in a magic contest, and with the prize comes the certificate and with the certificate and notoriety comes fame and a lot of friends. This makes Rye smile, but it also brings her closer to the one she will start to love, Flora.

Readers will find the story amusing and realistically believable in a fantasy sense. Holly’s comical references to Rye being a ‘relic’ are funny enough as is the sight of Flora taking the two of them home on her flying carpet around an area whose shady people would have stolen it, drove it then burned it for kicks. The setting for the story could very easily be New York, yet it would be a New York where a fairy land had sprung up around it, no one had cars of bikes, and all the normal human amenities. This is all the stuff of fairy land complete with aromatic teas, brooms and flying carpets and it works due to it being really well written.

For Rye her interest in Flora seems as though it will never be, but even in fairy land dreams can come true and it does seem that Flora is the one who wants to make the first move. Rye is comfortable with this first hint of love, except she also hides a terrible secret from her past. As her very life would be in danger, she cannot allow her true identity be revealed as it might affect her sister Holly too. Elves and Dryads in this book do not mix well- there is much prejudice against them wanting the same freedoms as everyone else in the unsettled fairy realm. The nub of the story is prejudice against certain races of fairies and how they interact in more than one way, and how Rye interacts with the others in the novel that makes her the heroine of it.

Rye feels once they have only just been successful due to her sister, and not due to their high upbringing, her relationship with Flora is not destined to work as she still feels she is too good for her. From a different part of town with a high born attitude and intelligence she thinks she cannot match. Rye soon finds out that her wanting to end the relationship stirs different emotions in Flora.

The main part of this story is prejudice and whether Rye will be able to cope with the backlash of hatred toward her once her identity is revealed. Flora though the readers will understand is more open to what she really is than even she realises. Flora shows her caring side many times even though Rye cannot trust her completely, thinking she might tell all to her well-to-do friends at any moment.

Though this novel is about two women in a relationship, the setting, emotions and theme of fantasy all seem realistic and enjoyable.

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