Title: A Dark and Hollow Star
Author: Ashley Shuttleworth
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Audience: Young Adult
The “ironborn” half-fae outcast of her royal fae family.
A tempestuous Fury, exiled to earth from the Immortal Realm and hellbent on revenge.
A dutiful fae prince, determined to earn his place on the throne.
The prince’s brooding guardian, burdened with a terrible secret.
For centuries, the Eight Courts of Folk have lived among us, concealed by magic and bound by law to do no harm to humans. This arrangement has long kept peace in the Courts—until a series of gruesome and ritualistic murders rocks the city of Toronto and threatens to expose faeries to the human world.
Four queer teens, each who hold a key piece of the truth behind these murders, must form a tenuous alliance in their effort to track down the mysterious killer behind these crimes. If they fail, they risk the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a war brewing between the Mortal and Immortal Realms, and one of these teens is destined to tip the scales. The only question is: which way?
Wish them luck. They’re going to need it.
A Dark and Hollow Star was one of my most anticipated books of the year when it was first released, but because I couldn’t get to it immediately, my interest in it dipped. But now I am so annoyed at myself that I didn’t get to it earlier because I am in love with this book.
The four main characters within A Dark and Hollow Star were brilliant and complimented each other so well. Each of the characters had their own personality that shone off the page, and there was never any confusion when the POV switched as they were all so distinct and individual. I particularly loved Arlo and Nausicaä, but I think this is probably down to us spending a bit more time with them than we did Vehan and Aurelian. Nausicaä has no filter, which I adored as she just says what she thinks at any moment. I also loved some of the supporting characters, and I feel that we got to know them; I hope that we get to see even more of them in the next book.
I will warn you that A Dark and Hollow Star does start quite slow, so much so that it took me five days to get through the first 100 pages, but once you push through that, it very quickly picks up the pace. A Dark and Hollow Star is a little bit slow at the beginning because of the immense world building that Ashley Shuttleworth has done. Everything is described in such detail, and every possible base is covered. Ashley Shuttleworth has thought about every little detail and has made them come to life. I also loved the idea of it being predominantly being set in Toronto and Nevada, which is a different setting to the typical urban fantasy book where the setting is normally London or New York.
Because the world building and magic system is so extensive, it took me a little time to remember who everyone was and what powers they possessed. But Ashley Shuttleworth has such a great way of introducing characters at one point and then reintroducing them again when they become relevant without it becoming boring. To help with this, I would love some sort of character list at the beginning of the next book because there are so many, and there would be no chance of spoilers.
I do have to give a special mention to the final 50 pages, Ashley Shuttleworth blew my mind several times, and I don’t think I have ever consumed the ending of a book so quickly. The way the story has left off has made me want to pick up the sequel as soon as it is released; there will be no waiting for me next time.
I cannot recommend A Dark and Hollow Star enough; if you love any kind of fae fantasy with brilliant characters, you need to pick up this book.