Fantasy + historical romance? The Charmed – Book review

Hello beautiful people, if you’re a fantasy and historical romance lover, then you must check out this book!

✔️historical fantasy
✔️dislike to love
✔️ Victorian England
✔️ fae

The Charmed by Kylie Fennell

Rating: 3 out of 5.

What is it about?

A spirited young woman’s quest for the extraordinary entangles her in a deadly investigation, where she must unravel murder, life-altering secrets and a forbidden love that transcends realms to save all she holds dear.

Bound by the constraints of Victorian England, Lady Alice Hyde’s future appears secure in a marriage arranged by her uncle, the Viscount. But her heart yearns for more than being a traditional and dutiful wife. Blessed, or cursed as it seems, with a curious mind and a thirst for knowledge, she eagerly anticipates a visit to The Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace.

However, her journey takes a darker twist when she stumbles upon the lifeless body of a young woman. Drawn into the investigation alongside the enigmatic and exasperating Cyan, Alice finds herself on a treacherous path fraught with danger and desire.

Together, Alice and Cyan battle not only dark forces but also a growing attraction that defies the chasm between their worlds. (Goodreads)

via Giphy

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This was a lovely book. I really had fun while reading it. The whole fae magical world mingled with the human world in the Victorian Era was so whimsical. I absolutely adored all the historical bits, like the Great Exhibition and the Crystal Palace; both sounded so magical. I loved how Kylie Fennel put those historical facts in this fantasy setting. The mystery element only added more intrigue to the whole story.

Alice, our FMC, is a strong, curious, intelligent woman who is eager to be more than what society dictates her to be. I loved the journey she experiences in the story and how much she learns about herself and the world she lives in. I would’ve loved to be friends with Alice!

Cyan, our MMC, is a distant, cold, enigmatic man who is not interested in the slightest to play nice with Alice. But gradually and almost without himself noticing, he begins to warm up towards her.

I think Alice and Cyan were perfect for each other. They were exactly what the other needed. They were super cute, too.

via Giphy

The story, writing, and plot itself have so much potential. Unfortunately, there were several things that I missed in this book. I felt like there wasn’t enough depth to either the characters or the fae world. I didn’t connect with either. I feel like I didn’t even know who the characters were or the significance of the fae world and the damage it had suffered. Also, the writing was good, and I think the author has so much potential. But here, I felt it a bit abrupt. Some scenes and conversations happened so fast and changed so abruptly that it didn’t give me time to engage emotionally or even mentally. The romance was a bit shallow, too. I didn’t feel the build-up at all. They were enemish but were attracted to each other almost immediately, and then they couldn’t be together for some excuse that held no weight for me. But then they love each other. It was just too abrupt. Their love was cute, but it could’ve been so much more.

Overall, it was a lovely book, but unfortunately, it didn’t work for me as I hoped. Still, I know many people will love this one.

Would you read this book?

love, Lin

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