I love fantasy, magic, and all the elements that come with them. Fantasy allows you to see amazing new worlds filled to the brim with ideas and creatures that don’t usually exist in the real world. Fantasy worlds offer a safe haven from the troubles of life and they are so much fun to explore.
For this month’s book review, I’m going to talk about a book from an author I found on Twitter. I’ve recently become more active on the site and have started interacting with other authors who are also trying to grow their platforms while finishing their own lists of WIPs (That’s works in progress). It’s fun interacting with people who are on similar journeys to my own.
One day, I noticed someone sharing a beautiful piece of cover art for a book titled The Wing Thief. The story is a young adult fantasy book written by Samantha Atkins and published in 2021. The cover art did its job and drew me in so I checked out the book on Amazon. After reading the blurb, I decided to give it a shot and I wasn’t disappointed.
The Wing Thief
The story follows Vista, a water fairy living in the magical forest of Letherea. I just noticed the name is a slight re-spelling of ethereal. Cool.
Letherea is filled with fantastical creatures that we are introduced to throughout the story as Vista sets out into the forest for the first time in her life. You see, fairies in Letherea are born without wings and until they get their wings, they live in the Home Tree. When a fairy reaches young adulthood, around the time they are four months old, they are given their wings and then they leap from the Home Tree to experience flight and go out into the world for the first time.
The story begins on the morning of Vista’s first flight. After leaving the Home Tree for the first time, Vista encounters a gnome named Grecko. Now, before you go picturing a short little man with a pointy hat and long beard, gnomes in Letherea aren’t like the ones you’d expect. These gnomes are the sizes of tall men, have disproportionally long limbs, big feet, and kind faces. They do not wear pointy hats or have beards. They do take care of plants though, like their lawn gnome counterparts in the human world.
Grecko brings Vista to his home and helps show her Letherea. As the days pass, it becomes clear to both of them that something sinister lurks in the magical woods and it is up to this unlikely pair to put a stop to the anger and hatred hiding in the darkness and fix past wrongs.
The Fairies (What I Liked)
The narration for the story is third-person omniscient and is a lot of fun. The voice comes across as an old friend who is telling you about a magical place they discovered. It shares the information as needed without ever going way off topic as is possible with this kind of narration. The narrator makes you feel welcome in this new, fantastical world.
The characters are fun and easy to like. Vista is young and adventurous, trying to strike out on her own for the first time and realizing that it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. this makes her very relatable, even as an adult. Grecko is caring and experienced. It is easy to see that he cares about his new friend even though they haven’t known each other very long. He is able to use his experiences to help Vista, even though he doesn’t always know what he’s doing.
Even the main antagonist is well written. I couldn’t stand him, he was very unlikeable in the best possible ways, but I also understood his motivations and had some sympathy for him. A very small amount because I just despised him!
All of these amazing characters live in an equally amazing world. The forest of Letherea is beautiful and fascinating and filled with many fun and interesting creatures, plus a few who you’d rather avoid. Atkins does an amazing job of painting the world of Letherea. You can see the trees, feel the breeze through the leaves, and smell the flowers.
On top of that, the forest is alive and is often its own character.
The final message of the book is great. Sometimes life pulls us in different and unexpected directions and that is okay. You don’t have to be with your family to be a part of your family. We are still a part of our families and always will be no matter where life takes us. On top of that, we don’t have to face things alone. Our families will always have our backs. Most importantly of all, is the idea that you don’t have to be related to someone for them to be a part of your family.
I personally believe there is a very distinct difference between relatives and family.
Included in the final message are mentions of forgiveness for past transgressions and acknowledging how certain behaviors can unintentionally cause irreparable harm to other people that will haunt them for years to come. A person may not have meant to hurt someone with their words or actions, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t.
The Imp (What I Didn’t Like)
Now, on to the things I didn’t like, which there weren’t very many.
It was a bit short, clocking in at 199 pages. As such, the story races through the beats, leaving the Fun and Games beat, which is one of the longest in the Save the Cat! Beat Sheet feeling quite short in my opinion.
The fact that I’m complaining about how short the story is, is ultimately a good thing. I wanted more from this world and its characters.
For a good portion of it, Vista is just kind of there. During this time, it feels like the story is happening around her and she isn’t a big part of it. At the same time, it does make sense why that is, but I still would have liked to see her struggle a little more. Not for some twisted laughs, but to see how she faced those challenges. There are a few instances of this, but I felt there could have been some more. Vista adapting to her new life a little bit more would have helped get to know her sooner.
A part of this also stems from spending so many chapters with the main antagonist. Doing so allows us to better understand his motivations, but takes away from getting to know Vista, who is the real star of the story.
A Fantastic Fantasy
That about does it for my trip into the magical forest of Letherea. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The day I finished, I sat down just to read a little bit, and then hours later I’d finished the book. It sucked me in and wouldn’t let me put it down until I knew how it all ended.
That was a fun day.
The Wing Thief is a fantastical tale in a beautiful world filled with wonderful characters. It is an amazing fantasy story that follows some well-known mythological creatures. Some are familiar and follow the expected norms, while others have their own unique spin in this new world. All of them are interesting to meet in this magical forest.
If you’re looking for a book to read, you should definitely pick this one up. I loved the story and hope there will be a sequel.