*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.
The ruse to distract Queen Mab and away from her home to steal a sacred magical bull, creates a centuries long feud between Mab and Faunus. Each powerful being has picked a wealthy house, Montague or Capulet to continue the battle offering their protection, but one House will fall while the other rises. Mab is caught in meddling in the human world and punished for it, until she is touched by love like she tried to ruin. After centuries of competition between Mab and Faunus, which separated the two houses that were once dearer than blood relations to each other, Faunus suggests one last go. For all the power Mab has lost, to walk in daylight one again. Each must find a champion, but love gets in the way.
Okay, the first thing I noticed as I listened to the first words of the story, the seductive voice of Julian. *sigh* His accent and flow of his rhythmic tone had me at the first sentence. He uses his breath with the words to draw me to the feeling of the romance present with the characters. Good gracious! I wanted to listen to him for ever! Okay, the quality of the audio - it's splendid. It was clear and clean, nothing to distract for his amazing voice. Julian also did slight differences for the characters that indicated their emotions and personality as he spoke for them.
I do enjoy the poetic flow of descriptions written by Kate. It's similar to Shakespearian and, as the fairy descriptions do, has a unique feel to drawing images in our minds. Even what they do in action has a hidden meaning to get to what they want. And the fairy beings have centuries to wait for what they truly want, as they are immortal. And that the do here.
In the beginning things feel simple, the fae and their mischievous ways and Mab reck her revenge on those involved. Easy to understand and follow, which gives us the grace time to slip into thinking used to the speak of poetic words. We get the history and important events leading up to the big show of what happens with Romeo and Juliet. Bringing us the details from a few different POV's that tells what the characters are working toward, what they desire in doing all they've done. We mostly get the POV of Mab, but we do slip to Juno's head as well as Faunus too.
Oh, even Queen Mab has an equal out there that puts her in her place. Mab is not the only powerful being in the realm. Learning this in the story, we see Mab suffer from coming toe to toe with another powerful being. And there are lessons to be learned. In the fairy way, things twist and turn to bring those involved to do opposite what they thought they would do. There is always one pinning for power, and will do anything for it.
For what do the fairy of old compete over? Power? Affection? It seems that love is at the root of all, to feel or not feel love. But, the question is who was scorned deepest, as it seems several are seething to get revenge for the lack of love in their live. Love seems to be one emotion to easily manipulate to get what you want, yet you stand the chance of losing to love as well, which can be good and bad and what Mab learns here.
I found I was tearing up at one death. Saddened for the lose of life and the lose of a love that was finally felt. In the end, Kate's words and Julian's voice brought pools to my eyes, all works in my heart with the way this ends. Kate has done a splendid job of mixing what Shakespeare created with Romeo and Juliet and Queen Mab with her own story involving Queen Mab and the reason she's the way she is. I thoroughly enjoyed the story while I listened to it.
When I finished this story, I thought this could be one that young adults could listen/read as well. There was no terrible language or overly intimate scenes. It's about finding love. This could easily be read/listened to by all ages.
Who was the true player of these games? In the end I wonder if it wasn't Juno, who knew all needed to learn lessons and come to who they are. I would gladly listen to this story again, not only for Julian's voice but also for hearing the twists to the story as I would now know how it ends and could pick up some smaller details in the wavy road we take.