Coal, a sixteen-year-old human, has lived most of his life in the fey realm with his elven best friend and future queen, but when a human child he promised to protect unintentionally breaks fey law in front of the fey elite, he will have to choose between betraying his best friend or saving the child's life.
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Coal: Book One of the Everleaf Series based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
I enjoyed this diverse high/urban fantasy which I can honestly say is like no other book I've ever read. Why? When was the last time you read a story about a friendship between a black fairy and a black human? Granted, this fairy, Chalcedony, can change her appearance at will, but she chooses to be black like her human friend, Coal. Chalcedony is developing amorous feelings for her childhood friend, Coal, but she's strongly encouraged not to because fairies aren't supposed to like humans. It would be unseemly for a fairy queen to have a human consort. Her indecision on this point, not to mention her own pride, causes a great deal of trouble in the story. For reasons I'm not quite sure of, Chalcedony snatches another human child on a whim, much the way she snatched Coal when he was younger, and brings the girl to the Fae world. Chalcedony is coming of age and must assume the throne soon. The pressure is on her to be rid of Coal. For some reason she thinks a new human child can replace him? (It was a bit of a sticky plot point for me as a reader because I don't really get her thought process here. Maybe she was irrational?) When the child accidentally draws Chalcedony's blood, there is a high price to pay. Coal attempts to rescue the child from the harsh punishment required by Fae law, putting his own future at risk. The story definitely has some unique aspects to it. I especially liked the idea of swords having their own consciousness and the concept of Legacy, the Fae home tree with it's own awareness. In the Fae world, there's a strong high fantasy feel, but in the human world, it feels more like urban fantasy. The transition between the two is a bit jarring in places. I liked the title character, Coal, and I felt for him when Chalcedony's actions were so confusing - can she be trusted or no? I wished he was more determined about his own destiny and more opinionated about the crazy Fae running his life. Chalcedony really seemed to run the show. And the ending does leave you hanging like any good series would. I hope the next book in the series lets Coal shine in his own right. I give Coal two thumbs up for any lover of high fantasy!