Fallen Princeborn: Stolen by Jean Lee
Publication Date : October 16th 2018
Publisher : Aionios Books, LLC
Read Date : May 31st 2019
Genre : Dark Fantasy
Pages : 450
Stars : ★★★★1/2 /5
OVER THE WALL THEY CAME TO HUNT HUMANS. BUT NOW, A HUMAN’S GOING TO HUNT THEM. THIS GIRL’S NO ONE’S PREY.
In rural Wisconsin, an old stone wall is all that separates the world of magic from the world of man—a wall that keeps the shifters inside. When something gets out, people disappear. Completely.
Escaping from an abusive uncle, eighteen-year-old Charlotte is running away with her younger sister Anna. Together they board a bus. Little do they know that they’re bound for River Vine—a shrouded hinterland where dark magic devours and ancient shapeshifters feed, and where the seed of love sets root among the ashes of the dying.
Fallen Princeborn: Stolen is the first in a series of young-adult dark-fantasy novels by Jean Lee. Watch for book 2 in March 2019. Read Tales of the River Vine, a collection of free short stories based on the characters in the Fallen Princeborn omnibus.
Fallen Princeborn: Stolen revolved around main character Charlotte, her fierce love and need to save her sister and Liam- the Princeborn and his awakening after a century of sleep, fighting the darkness and saving the innocent humans from it. It was about good vs bad, survival, trust issue, troubling past and childhood, overcoming the grief, fighting darkness, inner and external monsters, and love for family.
Charlotte was wonderful character. She was feisty, fierce, selfless, passionate pianist, full of strength, snarky comments and tremendous love for her sister who craved for love, belongingness and family, a place she could call home that she didn’t get after her father’s death. But she was reckless that got her into lot of trouble. I loved her determination, pure heart, and honesty, for being different and fighting the monsters all her life. She had dark past. What she suffered at her uncle’s home was horrible. Her emotions were raw and my heart went out to her. It was so unfair she had to be parent even though her mother was alive who should take responsibility of her both daughter. I wish she had fought earlier and has moved out earlier. Her development was great.
Liam was flawed character who also had dark past, did terrible mistakes and learned things hard way. This bloody Prince surprised every character in the book on after arrival of Charlotte. He might be centuries older but acted like a teen who was used to getting his ways with people. But I loved his development- he cared for his people, worked on the issue of survival and fought amazingly in battle, he finally understood Charlotte and importance of family in her life, changed for her and loved her in right way.
Arlen was my favorite in the book. He was caring, compassionate, and wise old man who made Charlotte feel welcome and warm. He was a father figure to her. Oh and he was awesome with his wooden spoon in battle.
Anna– She was present in just few chapters but she was important for Charlotte and story. Most of the time she was in Charlotte’s thought and a precursor to all action and hell broke out throughout the story. But honestly I didn’t like her. She was selfish teen who was spiteful to Charlotte all through life. She didn’t appreciate what she did for her and was blind to Charlotte’s suffering, pain, and wounds. How could she not suspect her uncle and instead of supporting Charlotte, she rebelled and walk in footstep of her uncle pickpocketing and getting into trouble all the time. She didn’t deserve Charlotte’s love and at some point I agreed with Liam’s thought about her.
Villain- Lady Orna and her minions were just great. They were hateful, so dark, unpredictable, and full of tricks. They are going to get Best Villain Of The Year award from me.
Story was third person narrative mostly from Charlotte’s perspective. Writing was good, descriptions were vivid and as I read more writing got better and the book turned out much better than I expected and it set higher expectations for next book in series.
Plot was best. It started with Charlotte taking her sister, Anna away from her tyrant uncle, pill-addicted mother and hate-filled grandmother to safety of her aunt’s house, towards her dream of becoming famous Pianist, attending college and creating a better life. But
fates shape-shifting fairies (called Velidevour) had better worst plan for her and her sister. Their bus broke down in middle of nowhere and series of weird things happened that lead Charlotte and Anna to the farm that had wishing well and the border wall separating the human world and magical world of Shapeshifters called River Vine. Things got even worse when Anna was kidnapped by Velidevours and Charlotte set out across the wall with a Wolf to find Anna.
I had so many questions throughout the book. Why Charlotte was different than others on the bus, how her hearing and olfactory senses could be as intense and accurate as other magical beings, what was the voice inside her that helped her guiding in right direction, why Velidevours kidnapped her sister and other travelers, can she find and save Anna in time or will lose her in this weird magical world. And when this Bloody Prince and magical dagger came in picture it raised more questions more mysteries. It got better and better as I read more. Things were revealed step-by-step, no info dumping, nothing revealed at once which kept the story interesting.
World build was awesome. As we read more, the more we know about the world that included -Prince, dagger, River Vine, Velidevour, the pit, the Lady Orna, border wall and why they kidnapped humans. The creature, their shapeshifting ability, magic, magical trees, and weapons, the history of the land was narrated remarkably. I specially loved the magical Rose House that shifted rooms and doors on wish of residents. It responded more to Charlotte which was another mystery. I liked cultural differences and characters’ banter around it.
What surprised me more was, all things was wrapped up within 30% of the book- half of the world building, saving Anna, adventure, tense moments. If it was novella book might have ended here. But the actual game just begun at this point. The mid part of the book was knowing Liam better, his past, his strength and abilities; Charlotte’s grief and her issue of trust, bonding between Arlen, Charlotte and Liam; fun and tense moments; and dark tricks that made me sit on the edge till the end of the book. This part was bit slow and was full of emotions which was touching, relatable and believable.
Another best thing in the book was action and battle scenes. After long time I read a fantasy with best action sequence. There were two major battles and both were thrilling and exciting. All twist and turns were mind-blowing. I couldn’t guess what was happening to Charlotte and why she was hearing voices. I even believed her once and went along with her thoughts until climax. I loved the way battle, Charlotte’s delusion and the story ended. End was good with more questions and some mysteries that remain to be solved for the next book, Fallen Princeborn: Chosen, in series. I read snippet of second book and I must say it sounds more interesting than this one. I can’t wait to read it.
How a prince, who was sleeping for a century, could use modern technology- a mobile phone? That was really unbelievable. Why it was so difficult for Charlotte to listen to her inner voice who proved to be right on several occasions? I literally wanted to smack her on the head with that wooden spoon of Arlen.
Overall, it was thrilling, engaging magical mysterious world of shape-shifting fairies and a page turner with great characters and world building. I definitely recommend this book to fantasy lovers.
About the Author: Jean Lee
Jean Lee is a Wisconsin born and bred writer excited to share her young-adult fiction with those who love to find other worlds hidden in the humdrum of everyday life. Her first novel, Fallen Princeborn: Stolen, debuted in November 2018, from Aionios Books. She also blogs regularly about the fiction, music, and landscapes that inspire her as a writer (jeanleesworld.com).
You can find Jean on her site, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram under the handle @jeanleesworld. #RiverVine #Princeborn
Watch for book 2 in March 2019. Read Tales of the River Vine, a collection of free short stories based on the characters in the Fallen Princeborn omnibus.
*** Note: Many thanks to author for providing e-copy, in exchange for an honest review. ***
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