Book Review – Halayda

Book: Halayda (Star-Fae 1) by Sarah Delena White
Release Date: March 23rd 2017
Tags: Fantasy / Paranormal Romance / Fae / Faeries / The Hunt
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars



I received this book through Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


A mortal alchemist. A faerie king. A bond that transcends death.

Betrayed by a trusted mentor, Sylvie Imanthiya hides on the fringes of society, caring for half-fae orphans and trading her alchemical creations on the black market. She lives for the one night each season when she can see her dearest friend—a man whose destiny is far above hers.

King Taylan Ashkalabek knows better than to exchange halayda vows with a mortal. Even their friendship is a risk; love is an impossible dream. Then a brutal alchemical attack poisons his realm, unearthing a dark power within him—and leaving Sylvie with the ancient mark of Faerie’s savior.

Manifesting unpredictable abilities and aided by allies with their own secrets, Sylvie and Taylan journey into the wilds of Faerie to heal the damage and confront Casimir, an invincible star-fae determined to claim the realm as his own. But only their enemy knows Sylvie’s true capabilities—and Taylan’s weaknesses—and how to use them in his vicious schemes.

Her fate is life. His fate is death. With Faerie in the balance, Sylvie and Taylan must stand together before reality as they know it is destroyed.


Books about the Fae are always interesting, especially when the author decides to take it a different way. The author of Halayda certainly did. However that was one of the few things it had going for it I felt. Maybe this is a case of me and not the book as a lot of other people seem to be quite taken with it.

The book focuses on Sylvia and Taylan. Sylvie is a half-fae, alchemist and lives in the mortal world (though not ours from what I gather). Taylan is the king of Fae who comes to the mortal world 4 times a year. Instead of being hidden from the mortal world, here the Fae go amongst the mortals a few times a year but there are of course tensions. Especially when old enemies surface.

The idea that the mortal world and the Fae have contacts and that the Fae are known in this mortal world is really interesting. The tension between the two groups would also be very realistically. I also liked that there were different fae with different elements, like shadow and light. Unfortunately those were really the only ones that were mentioned. In that I really missed the world building.


There were certainly also plot holes here and there. The Dragonfly was never properly explained for instance. Or how the pathfinders really fit in. There was also the thing where Sylvie was taken care of orphans and then she left and the older ones were just suppose to take care of the younger ones and that was that. Yeah nope. If you are going to add in that she takes care of orphans and kids, do it properly. Not half. Not as an afterthought. Not just added in to make her look like an amazing person. Nobody who would take care of kids and orphans would be so flippant about it. Wouldn’t stop thinking about them. It bothered me.

About half way through the book I lost interest. I only finished as this was a review copy. The characters didn’t stand out. In scenes with multiple characters the focus was completely on the two love interests. And yet we also got added in a point of view of another character. But in those other scenes she was so easily tossed to the side. It was annoying to read.

I also didn’t understand how the hunt so easily turned, even if they were under some sort of mind control. They are suppose to be fierce and dangerous. Yet I never felt like that for a minute. I think it could have been approached a bit more believable.

5 thoughts on “Book Review – Halayda

    1. True. Fae seem to be mostly miss for me too to be honest. But I did enjoy The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black and The Mysteries which was such a different kind of book with Fae (though perhaps not quite as front and center as some others).


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