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The Last Changeling
     

The Last Changeling

4.0 5
by Chelsea Pitcher
 

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A Kingdom At War . . .Elora, the young princess of the dark faeries, plans to overthrow her tyrannical mother, the dark Queen, and bring equality to faeriekind. All she has to do is convince her mother’s loathed enemy, the Bright Queen, to join her cause. But the Bright Queen demands an offering first: a human boy who is a “young leader of men.”A

Overview

A Kingdom At War . . .Elora, the young princess of the dark faeries, plans to overthrow her tyrannical mother, the dark Queen, and bring equality to faeriekind. All she has to do is convince her mother’s loathed enemy, the Bright Queen, to join her cause. But the Bright Queen demands an offering first: a human boy who is a “young leader of men.”A Dark Princess in Disguise . . .To steal a mortal, Elora must become a mortal—at least, by all appearances. And infiltrating a high school is surprisingly easy. When Elora meets Taylor, the seventeen- year-old who’s plotting to overthrow a ruthless bully, she thinks she’s found her offering . . . until she starts to fall in love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/29/2014
In a matter of weeks, the faerie princess Elora infiltrates the mortal world disguised as a dead runaway, in hopes of luring a teenage boy to bring peace to her realm. Instead she meets 17-year-old Taylor, an outcast at school and at home since the death of his brother, who innocently takes her in. In the first of a two-part chronicle, Elora and Taylor take turns narrating their backstories and illuminating their growing attraction amid more typical teenage problems like preparing for prom and not quite fitting in. Pitcher (The S Word) includes some topical material, including discrimination against gay students and a lecherous coach who ogles the cheerleaders, but spends far more time on the blossoming (and taboo) sexual tension between Elora and Taylor. However, the enjoyable, erotically tinged romp only skims the surface of the characters’ deepest flaws and concerns. For all of Taylor’s tremendous guilt over his role in his brother’s death, the truth behind the younger boy’s demise is anticlimactic, and Elora’s history is given little ink. Ages 12–up. Agent: Sandy Lu, L. Perkins Agency. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
"The Last Changeling weaves mystery, romance, and high school drama to speak to a variety of issues, including sexuality, social hierarchies, and parental failings."—VOYA "An enjoyable, erotically tinged romp."—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
VOYA, December 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 5) - Meghann Meeusen
When Taylor meets the beautiful and mysterious Lora, he has no idea who she really is—princess of the Unseelie Court who has fled her tyrannical, dark-faerie mother on a quest to align herself with the Bright Queen and begin a rebellion to change the course of faerie history forever. Lora holds many secrets, but all Taylor knows is that he is falling in love with her and beginning to see past the darkness of loss and shame of feeling blames for the tragedy that has befallen his little brother. Yet, as Lora encourages Taylor to befriend the outcast students of Unity High and lead them to reevaluate what it means to claim one’s identity, she also has a plan for her own future… a plan that could be lost if she too falls in love. Told in alternating chapters from the perspective of Taylor and Lora (known as Elora in her faerie realm), The Last Changeling weaves mystery, romance, and high school drama to speak to a variety of issues, including sexuality, social hierarchies, and parental failings. The central characters and their burgeoning romance melds with the fantastical elements in intriguing ways, but the cast of secondary teen characters are especially interesting, allowing for a story that will not only keep readers on the edge of their seats, but challenge them to think about identity in new ways. Reviewer: Meghann Meeusen; Ages 15 to 18.
School Library Journal
01/01/2015
Gr 7 Up—Elora, princess of the Dark Faeries, enters the mortal world disguised as Lora, a teenage runaway. Working to overthrow her mother, the Dark Queen, Elora must find a human offering in exchange for the Bright Queen's alliance before her mother's consort, Naeve, finds and kills her. Elora soon meets Taylor, a high school outcast wracked with guilt over his younger brother's death. Taylor feels an instant attraction, but Elora is simply looking for an in. However, as the two grow closer, Elora must fight her growing feelings for Taylor and her increasing affection for her human friends while she ensnares her offering and protects those she loves from Naeve. Pitcher's tale attempts to draw too many disparate elements together, leaving a story and characters that never feel fully fleshed out. Taylor and Elora's charged attraction is so immediate and inexplicable readers may fail to believe its depth. Other characters and plot elements have potential and address timely topics (the students organize a protest against the school's anti-gay prom policy) that tend to lose steam toward the end. Taylor and Elora serve as alternating narrators, but their inconsistent voices make it difficult to differentiate between them. Those looking for faerie lore will have better luck with Julie Kagawa's "Iron Fey" series (Harlequin Teen) or Melissa Marr's "Wicked Lovely" series (HarperTeen).—Kelsey Johnson-Kaiser, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
2014-09-03
A faerie princess on a quest falls for an appealing teen who's grieving a recent loss. The Bright Queen's riddle sends her after a "leader of men" into the human world, where, to evade enemies from the Dark Court, she changes places with a dead girl. A changeling, she encounters Taylor, 17, and accepts his offer of refuge. Estranged from his parents following his brother's death, he now lives above the family's garage. He's equally alienated at school despite his good looks and soccer prowess, but Elora's arrival changes everything. In alternating narration, they chronicle their deepening mutual attraction. At night, she recounts her story, disguised as a fairy tale, but keeps her quest a secret. By day, they attend his high school, where Elora enrolls as a transfer student and continues her search, since Taylor doesn't fit her specifications. (The homophobic jerk on his soccer team's another story.) They find kindred spirits among the gay-straight alliance's smart, appealing social outcasts. It's a combustible combination—in a good way. If the plotting's occasionally far-fetched and Elora's story and character a tad derivative, Taylor compensates. Not your standard-issue, paranormal-romance hero, he's a believable teen with a sense of humor who doesn't notice his room's messy until a girl sees it. A series opener with appeal for fantasy fans, especially those at home with faerie conventions (think Seelie and Unseelie courts). (Fantasy. 13-18)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738740843
Publisher:
North Star Editions
Publication date:
11/08/2014
Pages:
360
Sales rank:
743,027
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.74(d)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

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Meet the Author

Chelsea Pitcher (Portland, OR) has always been fascinated by all things Faerie. She began gobbling up stories as soon as she could read, and especially enjoys delving into the darker places to see if she can find some light. She is the author of The S-Word (Simon & Schuster, 2013).

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The Last Changeling 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
booklovelounge More than 1 year ago
Actual Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars Admittedly, reading The Last Changeling was difficult for me, especially at the very beginning. I couldn’t understand Elora’s true intentions for joining the world of the humans and her mingling in high school was nothing extraordinary. I will give praise, however, that the book tackles issues such as discrimination especially to those belonging to the LGBT community. Elora certainly was not among the LGBT but she stood up for them and got them together like it was her own battle. Read full review: http://thebookloverslounge.com/review-the-last-changeling-by-chelsea-pitcher/ Disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
skizzles22 More than 1 year ago
The Last Changeling was a good book, though it left me feeling underwhelmed. I loved that this was told in dual POVs. It was nice to have both of the main character's thoughts and feelings. It was also really easy to tell them apart, and I so appreciated the author huge efforts to make Elora's venture into the real world seem realistic and genuine. It made for some pretty comical moments, because she was so lost and overwhelmed in a world so unlike hers. Speaking of Elora, I really enjoyed her character. At first, she seems flighty and naive, stumbling around in a world that she doesn't understand. But she's also a strong character who only wanted to save her people, and she vowed to do whatever it took to bring peace to the Courts. But I never truly gained an understanding of her, because I couldn't figure out what she wanted and what her motives were for the things that she was doing. She's still kind of a mystery, even though I know her life's story. The one she told Taylor, the guy who took her in and made her fall in love for the first time in her long life. Taylor was one of the sweetest guys I'd ever read about. He was adorable, so worried about offending or hurting people, and not okay with the antics of a bully. But he's also shy, and quietly suffering in a pool of grief and guilt for a tragedy that happened years ago. It's why his relationship with his parents is practically nonexistent and why he lives in the apartment above their garage, which makes for the perfect way to hide a Faerie who dropped into his life so suddenly. Except, he doesn't know she's a faerie. She keeps her identity a secret, but Taylor is pretty open about himself and his life. He's not exactly hard to figure out. And that's okay, because I adored him and his awkwardness and caring nature. Their romance was very slow to buildup, which is okay and all. I can't tell you how many books I've read where the characters just jump into a relationship before they really get to know each other. It was a nice romance, sweet and innocent and doomed before it even began really. Because how could a Faerie and human be allowed to have their love? I wish there'd been a bit more with it, because it didn't give me any feels. But that could be the snail's pace that it went (which, again, isn't a bad thing). I think I just wanted more development from it. I loved that this book had a diverse set of characters! Elora and Taylor befriend members of the Gay-Straight Alliance club, which became a huge message and focus of the book. Many of these characters felt unwanted and unheard, bullied and teased for being who they are. And with the help and addition of Elora, they take a stand and are able to find their courage at being tossed aside by the school and their classmates. I adored them all, even if they didn't have very deep relationships with the main characters. And I loved that this book focused on that club and about righting wrongs. I loved the message of standing up for what you believe in and not letting yourself be pushed to be what society wants you to be. But I felt that the book was taking off in that direction when it should have been focusing on the faerie aspects. I wanted more of the fantastical story-line. Not that I didn't love the other one, not that I didn't adore the diversity and beautiful messages. But this is a fantasy, not a contemporary. And so I was left wanting more, a lot more, of the Faerie world. The plot wasn't exactly loaded with surprises and twists, but it was still intriguing. And I liked how the author told the story of the Faerie world, without dumping us with the information and leaving it at that. It actually surprised me, and I loved that. And that ending was surprising, but in a good way. I just wish there'd been more Faerie focus in the book. The Last Changeling was a good faerie book that has lovable characters and wonderful messages. I'm excited about the sequel, because I have a feeling much of it will be spent in the Faerie world. I'm hoping for awesome details and complicated creatures of the Courts. And I can't wait to see what happens after that ending! Rating: 3.5 Stars!
KatsNook More than 1 year ago
***3.5 Stars*** The Last Changeling is a fantasy story about good versus evil. Elora (aka Lora) is a young faerie princess on an important mission in the human world. It was a nice surprise for me that the story began right away with Lora on her mission (instead of having too many confusing details). Lora meets Taylor, a human boy, and right away the two characters form a bond and the story is written in both of their point of views. I was impressed with the authors writing for Lora’s POV. Lora spoke in a regal and proper tone, but not too odd to stand out among the humans. Each chapter is titled with either Lora’s or Taylor’s name but it wasn’t necessary for me. The author did a great job of creating a distinctive voice for Lora and Taylor so it was easy for me to identify the change in POV. The change in POV’s was smoothly done so I didn’t feel it was an interruption in the story. Even though I did enjoy the changes in POV it still took me some time to get connected with Taylor. As soon as we meet Taylor we know that he hasn’t had a happy life. He is having problems with some students at school and with his family but his back story took a long time to be revealed. I think this slow pace of the story did make it difficult for me to understand Taylor. But once I reached the 70% mark of the book the story does pick up and I started liking Taylor. This was the first book I’ve read from the author and I enjoyed her writing and creativity. What made this story unique is that it takes place in the faerie and human world. This book has all the beautiful and magical details of the faerie world. Most fantasy stories can be confusing because of the world building but not with The Last Changeling. The author did a great job of connecting both worlds with their common problem of discrimination and stereotypes. There are characters that were so evil you hated them immediately. And there are group of misfits that are strong even though they have been humiliated by their peers. You can’t help but love and cheer for this group. Even though The Last Changeling has a slow start the action at the end of the story was exciting. I can’t wait to read more from this series!
WorldsCollide More than 1 year ago
An intriguing YA read that mixed magic, danger, and romance with more serious issues, The Last Changeling was a fantastic book. I really liked this fantasy romance. From start to finish, it had me totally drawn in and I enjoyed every bit of it. Elora was a lovely heroine. She was raised in the treacherous faerie court, but she developed her own ideals about treating all creatures fairly and started a grass-roots revolution to change it. And, when she got to the human world and saw the unfairness of bullied students, she wasn't going to let that sit either. She was a very active character, unwilling to turn a blind eye, as well as kind and clever. She was a very likable character and I thought she was great. Taylor was so amazingly sweet and wonderful and absolutely perfect! He didn't have the easiest life, with his brother's death, his parents' neglect, and the school bullies. But, even so, he didn't let that make him bitter. He remained truly kind and generous, the best kind of person. He was simply amazing and I adored him. The romance was very sweet. It moved slowly and it worked for the characters and their situations. Even when they were still hesitant about a relationship, though, their growing feelings were always clear, which I thought was very sweet. I'm not sure how they'll find a way to be together, but here's hoping they get a happy ending... The plot was fast paced and I was hooked the entire way through. There was never a dull moment, especially with all the secrets that came about. Along with the thrills and romance, though, there was a deeper theme of equality and I liked how it was included. It wasn't so in-your-face that it became preachy. Instead, it was included in the characters' ideals and actions in a way that worked well. I really enjoyed the story and the ending has me anxious to find out what happens next. Can't wait for book 2! The Last Changeling was a fantastic YA read. It was filled with adorable romance, thrilling danger, quite a few secrets, and a call for equality. And I enjoyed every bit of it. YA lovers, this is a book you won't want to miss. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
KikiD870 More than 1 year ago
The Last Changeling is the first book in the new Faerie Revolutions series and I love the fact that it is so much more than a YA fantasy romance novel.  At its heart, it is a story about equality and standing up for what is right.  It is about fighting prejuice and making the hard choices in order to remain true to what you believe is right. That being said, it is also not a book that really hits you over the head with those messages.  They may be the driving force behind the story, but they don't overwhelm it.  There is also magic, romance, danger, friendship, and a whole lot of intrigue woven all around the true messages of the story. The characters in this book are fantastic.  Elora, our main character, is fighting to change her world... the world of Faery.  She has been brought up in a world of racial prejudice, the light and the dark realms of Faery fighting against one another for centuries.  She has been brought up to believe that humans are yet another enemy, lesser creatures incapable of true compassion and love.  She has come to realize that those racial prejudices within her own world are weakening it for both sides and is trying to change that.  When she moves into the human world and is saved by Taylor (a human guy), she is faced with the realization that perhaps humanity is not what she thought it was. The destructive prejudices that she has found to be true of the Faery realms are also present in Unity High School, the human school she has "infiltrated" with a name that does not fit its reality.  The prejudices here are manifested in sexuality and the treatment that those who are thought to be anything other than straight is horrendous.  Taylor and Elora team up to change that, along with some unexpected allies. I really enjoyed the premise behind this story, unlike any others I have read.  I am a sucker for all things faery and I loved that this one came from the perspective of a Dark Faery.  The story was engaging and engrossing and I can't wait to read the next installment! Things to love...    --Elora and Taylor.  The romance was there, but it wasn't in your face.  Sweet!    --Kylie and Keegan.  The twins, friends of Elora and Taylor, figure prominently and I love what they represent for the story.    --The attention paid to real issues and the ways in which they were handled. My Recommendation:  If you love the realm of the faery, this is a great read!  If you love a story that has some depth and some messages to it, this is a great read!  Note:  I received this for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.