Book Review | The Unfairfolk (Valenbound, #1)

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: The Unfairfolk (Valenbound, #1)

Author: Sara Wolf

Format: eBook (KU)

Pages: 446

Categories: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy

A promise made is a promise kept, until the very end of all death. 

Sixteen year old Lilith Pierce’s mom is getting remarried. Which, sucks. To one of the richest men in Europe. Which, honestly? Sucks a little less. 

Lilith’s warily stoked – after Dad disappeared, it’s been all tears and police visits and sleeping pills for Mom. So, yeah. She’ll suck it up for seven months and get shipped off to the ultra-luxe, ultra-selective Institut Le Silvere – a prestigious boarding school in the Swiss Alps – while they honeymoon. How hard can it really be? It’s not like she’s got maybe-permanent hypervigilance, or anything.

It’s not like the woods around the school are maybe-alive. 

It’s not like she’s being stalked by a man with glowing red eyes. 

It’s not like the neighboring village whispers that all the students are cursed.

It’s not like resident model Ciel Lautrec is the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen, or anything. Too beautiful to be human. So beautiful the hypervigilance shuts right up. It’s not like she can’t handle Silvere’s self-appointed, self-conceited lawkeeper slash bully Alistair Strickland. Because she can. She can handle it all.

She’s always handled it all. Because she’s Lilith-fucking-Pierce.

And the forest knows that best of all.

After bingeing both books from the Bring Me Their Hearts series, I went in search for more Sara Wolf books and found this one called The Unfairfolk. It sounded interesting and it was on Kindle Unlimited, so I downloaded it right away.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but it was a definitely a wild ride. We get a front row seat into Lilith’s thoughts, a she is a teenager with many, many thoughts – sometimes it’s maddening! She gets sent to a boarding school in Europe where dignitaries from all over the world, send their kids. The only connection to money she has, is her new step-father, so she doesn’t quite belong in this school.

Lilith does manage to make friends and an enemy as well. But school social hierarchies are not the only thing that poses a challenge to Lilith – there is something going on at the Institut de Silvere, something dark and sinister. Will Lilith uncover what is going on or will it be too late?

  • I love Sara Wolf’s snarky characters! And it’s the same in The Unfairfolk where Lilith is just full of comebacks and humor to shield herself. She is a complicated teen. She is fearful from something traumatizing that happened in the past but that doesn’t stop her from seeming tough on the outside. There is an array of interesting and diverse characters in this story – I look forward to learning more about them!
  • Most of the story takes place at the boarding school with hints of something sinister in the woods. There was a dark tone to this story and I tend to love stories that go there, but also it’s vague which was frustrating.
  • Lilith has a past and this book touches on some dark topics like domestic abuse and there is also a part about someone who is a cutter. It’s definite triggers, but also – I remember being a teenager and knowing people in my circle dealing with those problems…so it definitely brings up real feelings about this issues. I liked Lilith’s teenage voice, being a victim of abuse herself and witnessing it. I felt her fears when it came to people grabbing her out of the blue or just people touching her in general. That was eye-opening and a good reminder, some people don’t want to be hugged or touched for reasons we don’t know about.
  • Coming off reading Bring Me Their Hearts series, I did start comparing this to that and this story is way different and not what I was expecting. The Unfairfolk is urban fantasy…but the fantasy or magic is mostly hinted at in this volume. Nothing really happens until the very end where we are thrown into another world! It’s wild, and I was hoping we’d get there sooner in the story but most of the book is about Lilith and being at boarding school.
  • If you don’t want to be stuck in a teenager’s head who curses a lot and has crude humor then you might not enjoy this book. I don’t mind and thought a lot of it was funny as well. 🤷🏻‍♀️
  • What is up with the ending and cliffhanger! Ugh…just when we were being introduced to the Fair Folk of Valen! 😏
  • Triggers: abuse, cutting

Am I going to read the next book in the series, YES. Was I entertained? Yes. Were we in Lilith’s head a bit too much – maybe. Do I want to know what the heck Valen is and who we will meet there?….Heck yes. This story was funny, at times dark and mysterious. Strange? For sure, at times I wasn’t sure what I was reading but it definitely kept me intrigued. Solid first book for a young adult urban fantasy with lots of room to grow!

2 thoughts on “Book Review | The Unfairfolk (Valenbound, #1)

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