Daughter of Light and Shadows by Anne McKerrow- REVIEW

Daughter of Light and Shadows by Anna McKerrow is a sexy and intoxicating novel set in the fairy kingdom and the price one has to pay to embrace their darkness. The story follows Faye- a proprietor of a new age shop in Abercolme who descends from a long line of witches. We follow Faye trying to come to terms with her Mother’s death and casting love spells with her two good friends. Along the way she comes to learn about her true ancestry which carries a heavy burden for many.

I really enjoyed the blending of the witchy genre with the fairy genre which I haven’t come across in many other books. There was just enough magic without it being too fantastical and this book reminded me of another similar story The Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle. There was plenty of romance and eroticism which I didn’t mind in this particular story since it was used to show how the enchantment of the fairy world brings out people’s greatest desires that would otherwise linger in the peripheries of their being. It was this exploration of light and dark that kept me engaged from beginning to end. The fairy kingdom served as a metaphor for our own shadows. A place where desire, lust, and beauty can distort one’s personal power. The real world setting of Abercolme is the reality we live everyday, fighting our own shadows in order to stay in the light of what is acceptable. The mystical cold beach was the border between the two worlds- the place where spells and magic consummated. The murky waters of the sea were representative of our emotional depths- how far and deep would one go to discover themselves? This battle between light and dark played out in very magical way for Faye that kept me on the edge of my seat. I found myself struggling as Faye did. There were points in the story where I wanted Faye to fully embrace her fairy side- I mean, who wouldn’t be enamoured with gilt, jewels, and gorgeous supernatural creatures? Yet, there were other times when I wanted to see her exact revenge upon Glitonea and Finn, using her full witchy power. Daughter of Light and Shadows cast its own spell upon me, leaving me wanting more and more.

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The Faerie Handbook: REVIEW

The Faerie Handbook is an enchanting read that takes the reader on a fantastical journey through faerie lore. If the faerie kingdom were to make a manual for new initiates- this would be it! The book is divided in to four sections: Flora & Fauna, Fashion & Beauty, Arts & Culture, and Home, Food, & Entertaining. Chapters include where to find fairies, common inhabitants, fairy houses, craft ideas, fashion, recipes, fairy history and so much more!

Reading The Faerie Handbook felt like a sprinkling of periwinkle blue fairy dust on my head from an invisible winged friend. You can’t help but get pulled into this magical realm of a book, making you feel as though you yourself are a faerie. Reading the pages felt as if it were consecrated by some great fairy queen in a thicket of a luscious forest in the early days of Spring. The renderings and pictures are charming and romantic which gives off a vintage vibe that suits the antique look of this book.

What I particularly love about this book is that it doesn’t come across as juvenile or kitschy- quite the opposite in fact. There is a discussion of the more menacing and sinister sides of the Faerie world which are not widely known. There is also a lovely balance between vintage and modern references to Faeries- including some obscure mentioning’s such as Tasha Tudor and Katerina Plotnikova.

There is an abundance of folklore for those interested in the history of Faeries and cutesier aesthetic pleasing information for lovers of the ethereal lifestyle. Quotes and literature references to the Faerie world weave a gold-spun thread throughout the book, luring the reader deeper and deeper into its vast kingdom.

This handbook is a love letter to those who find themselves drifting between two worlds- the mystical flower kingdom and our mundane reality. There are books about witches and vampires, but there hasn’t been such a comprehensive collection of faerie facts and information compiled into one book before. If you are a fan of Faerie Magazine, think of The Faerie Handbook as the flower crown of fairy books. The book is written with both a whimsical and poetic flair that pulls the reader into its silver lined pages. As the ultimate fairy tale, this handbook is a must read and should be in every fairy lover’s collection.

A big thank you to Faerie Magazine, Carolyn Turgeon, and Lily Lopate at HarperCollins for providing me with an advanced reader copy to review.