The Beltane Escape
by Ariella Moon
Publish date: February 2, 2016
Lady Fenella, ever surrounded by guards, knows only responsibility and duty. She believes Merlin and the Lady of the Lake are myths, Gran’s warnings about Fairy are superstition, and Fairy was invented to make children behave.
But then Gran brands her, Lord Argonshire kidnaps her, and the Lady of the Lake makes her a pawn. The Highland heiress must betray her newly betrothed and fend for herself when she dives into a wormhole to save her cousin. She lands in a part of Fairy even fairies avoid, and joins forces with Talfryn, a half-Viking/half-Fairy.
Fenella must use her wits to find her cousin, free the Lady of the Lake, and reach the wormhole in Glastonbury by Beltane. Nine days to unshackle herself from a sorceress, prevent a war between rival clans, and decide in which realm—and with which lad—she truly belongs. Oh, and The Most Powerful Wizard stands in her way.
The first thoughts that came to mind after reading The Beltane Escape is that this is a mix of a medieval Scottish fantasy and Alice in Wonderland. We start out with our main character, Fennela, with her Scottish brogue, as her home is quickly invaded by a rival clan and she's hauled off to become the betrothed of the third son of the nasty Lord Argonshire. But not before her Gran brands her with a burning iron rod.
Before any wedding bells can sound, she follows her younger cousin in a wormhole (or as I see it, the rabbit hole) and winds up in Fairy, where she meets all manner of creatures: a brownie, a Norse man and pixies.
I really enjoyed Fenella's character. She's determined to do what's right for her clan, even if it means sacrificing her freedom. She is desperate to save her cousin, Sorley, and she will not be deterred from finding him. However, I do wish her character was a little older. She's only 14 and seems almost a bit too mature for that age. I just prefer my heroines to have a bit more life experience.
The story line for The Beltane Escape is fast-paced and melds the legends of Merlin and the Lady of the Lake along with all kinds of fairy creatures. The writing is nicely done and I even found myself reading Fanella's parts with a Scottish accent. And there are little to no grammatical problems that caused me to stumble.
My only complaint is that I would have liked to have seen more of Edward. He managed to endear himself to me within the few short chapters he made an appearance, and I almost wished he had fallen down the rabbit hole with her. But at least I have the lovely Talfryn to look at.
** I was provided a copy of this book in return for an honest review
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About Ariella MoonAriella Moon draws upon her experiences as a shaman to create magical Young Adult fiction. Her Two Realms Trilogy is a medieval fantasy adventure series with romantic elements. The Teen Wytche Saga is a series of sweet contemporary paranormal romances.
Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. Ariella lives a nearly normal life doting on her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and an enormous dragon.
Ariella loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at http://www.AriellaMoon.com or visit her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ariellamoon.author