Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey
Release date: January 5th 2012
For seventeen years, Eloise Hart had no idea the world of Faery even existed. Now she has been abducted and trapped in the Rath of Lord Strahan, King of Faery. Strahan was only meant to rule for seven years, as Faery tradition dictates, and then give up his crown to another. But he won't comply, and now chaos threatens both worlds.
The only one who can break his stranglehold on the Faery court is his wife. . . Eloise's aunt Antonia. Using Eloise to lure Antonia, Strahan captures his wife, desperate to end the only threat to his reign. Now Eloise must become the rescuer. Together with her best friends Jo and Devin, she must forge alliances with other Fae, including a gorgeous protector named Lucas, and Strahan's mysterious son, Eldric—who may or may not betray them.
When Alyxandra Harvey mentioned Ian Somerhalder twice in her prologue I thought "this is going to be good" and to a certain extent, it was. Stolen Away is written in the style I've come to expect from Ms Harvey, snappy and precise with not an excess word in sight. Her main characters Jo and Eloise have instant personalities, traits and mannerisms--something I think Harvey is very good at. I also really liked Devin, he played his part as the long suffering male friend well. The rest of the characters I could kinda take or leave. There wasn't much development there and they were pretty cookie cutter. I was pretty disappointed by this as usually Harvey's characters are very three-dimensional. The two love interests in particular were fairly bland; stereotypes rather than characters in their own right. Isadora was one of the best characters and it's not surprising that she was the one with a fully developed and interesting backstory.
The plot was interesting and didn't dwell too long on describing ALL the different types of fairies and all their different kingdoms and allegiances etc, the details of which I always feel bog a story down. However, at the same time, the plot felt a bit sparse. As though some over-zealous editor had cut out too much of it. This meant the whole story felt a bit rushed, and of course added to the under-developed character dilemma.
It's a shame really because I feel this story had a lot of potential and can't help feeling like, at just 227 pages, there was some room left for embellishment. If you're a fan of fae stories, or of Alyxandra Harvey in general, this is a quick and enjoyable read--perfect for an afternoon.