Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.

When Dora was a little girl, a faerie lord took half her soul. She doesn’t know that’s what happened, but she doesn’t quite behave exactly like a good society lady should. She has no sense of fear, or embarrassment, and will quite happily say exactly what’s on her mind. Her aunt has frankly given up on finding her a husband. But when her cousin announces they must go to London for the season, she insists Dora comes with.

Few men will wish to share their new wife with some mad cousin who wears embroidery scissors round her neck.

Half a Soul is a delightful fantasy Regency romance that I whizzed through in an afternoon. I can’t say I’ve read much Regency romance in the past. Does Pride and Prejudice count? Anyway, this was full of balls and match-making, but Dora’s “condition” makes her a much more modern character than Regency fans might accept.

The Lord Sorcier is the king’s magician, renowned for helping to win the war and also for his surly manner. The ladies of society consider him beneath them and he’s not interested in a wife anyway. But a series of events pulls Dora into his orbit and soon they are plotting, along with Elias’s much more amenable best friend.

Away from the glamour of high society are the poor houses, which Dora discovers when she’s roped into charity work. And children there are falling ill with a sleeping sickness that no one knows how to cure. The conditions of the poor houses appal Dora, she still has more soul than those who would exploit them.

I had hoped England would be better. But it is so much worse in some respects. At least faeries have no sense of their own evil – but humans know quite what they are about, and this is still how they choose to arrange things.

The fae in the story are the cruel and vapid kind, who don’t spare a thought about using humans for their own entertainment. And the fae who took half her soul has not forgotten about the half left behind.

Half a Soul was originally self-published but the series is now being published by Orbit Books. The ebook is available now with the paperback due on 30th June 2022. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.

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