Seventeen-year-old Adrielle doesn’t believe in magic; she merely possesses it. When Adrielle starts a fire that burns down the family home, she must deal with both her grief and rejection. Forced out of her village, she journeys to far away Tallinyne in search of her older, estranged sister—the only relative who might take her in. Thrust into a dangerous and unfamiliar world, Adrielle struggles to navigate a world of magic she never imagined where she is forced to make a choice no girl should ever have to—satisfying her own heart or saving the kingdom.
Bubby: I love stories that are a tangled web of mystery, deceit, and family secrets which then turn into shocking revelation after revelation. Add to that some lovely, traditional fairy tale elements and you get the fabulousness that is First Light. I was entranced from the beginning. Poor Adrielle has so many obstacles to overcome. My heart just broke for her. But, as you already know, it all turns out happily ever after.
Sissy: You may be wondering why we are doing yet another classic fairy tale inspired novel. Firstly, we have read other things by Michelle Paige Holmes and have found them to be quite lovely. Secondly, one of my fantasies is to go to Disney World or Harry Potter World without my husband and boy children and examine every inch of every magical window or display or whatever for however long I want. (Bubby just did that at Harry Potter World with my magic-loving daughter and I am overcome with jealousy.) Thirdly, we will never get over our adoration of fairy tales. The end.
Bubby: I invited you to come with us, you know. And I brought you home a Chocolate Frog. And I took all the pictures so you could see too. But it was truly magical. Just like Adrielle is magical, with her fairy-given gifts. At first I was annoyed with Adrielle because she just couldn’t figure out what was going on and she was so stubborn in not accepting the help she needed. But then she turns into this amazing kick-butt woman who is willing to sacrifice everything for the good of the kingdom and the life of the prince. Let’s not forget the supporting cast of characters, too. We’ve got the evil queen Nadamaris and her long-suffering son Hale, Princess Cecilia and the man she’s supposed to marry, Prince Cristian, and the three fairies, Merry Anne, Florence and Zipporah (who has a penchant for wearing modern-day running shoes.) There are gypsies, a bunch of enchantments, and some time travel, and it’s all skillfully woven together.
Sissy: While this “fractured fairy tale” has elements of many stories, most obviously Sleeping Beauty at first, Adrielle is truly her own character. I enjoyed her journey of self-discovery, including finding out that she has powers that she never realized. She can run like the wind, she has an affinity for fire and she has an extremely green thumb. She also discovers non-magical things about herself like the fact that she can be very brave when needed, clever in getting herself out of situations, and most of all, she is genuinely altruistic. I had a love/hate relationship with the three fairies because they were more vague and unhelpful than I thought they should be. But I guess that made Adrielle reach within herself for strengths she may not have found if she’d been given more help.
Bubby: Yes, I wanted to smack the fairies too, but one of them actually says that they can only help to a certain point without breaching the bounds of the curse Adrielle is under. Still frustrating. Want to know what else is frustrating? Our dear author Michele Paige Holmes put a little excerpt of the next book, Last Day, at the end of First Light. It appears to be the story of Princess Cecilia and the evil queen’s son Hale. There’s just enough there that I am DYING to read Last Day and I have no idea when it will be published. Grrr. I guess good things come to those who wait! If you’re needing a dose of magical sparkly happiness in your day, First Light is the book for you. It’s like seeing Diagon Alley at night for the first time – completely enchanting.
Sissy: First Light is a surprisingly rich and complex tale set in a magical wonderland full of gifts and curses. It is written in different voices, which gives you the point of view of a few key characters. Once I got used to this, I found it made the story all the more interesting. You know there is a delightful romance (or two) in there because there simply must be romance in a fairy tale, right? Adrielle’s romance with guess who is sweet and completely satisfying, after all the drama is resolved. Michele Paige Holmes has elevated happily ever after to a whole new level. I absolutely loved it. Want to win your own e-book copy of First Light? Just enter the rafflecopter contest below.
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