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Halayda (Star-Fae Trilogy, #1)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  101 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
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 be
Published March 23rd 2017 by Uncommon Universes Press
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Laura A. Grace
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing


Oh my. This book. Purely amazing. I loved it so much. It will forever be marked as a I-must-reread-this-book-over-and-over-again because of everything it created for me.

Every time I sat down, I was immediately thrown into this incredible world that produced so much awe and wonder. Never was there a moment was I not leaning closer to the book or making some dramatic hand movement because of what came next.
Amy Leigh
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
If you love fantasy like I do then this is the Fae story you've been looking for! This story is rich in world building and captures the story so well you feel everything with the characters. It is full of action, fighting, politics and some romance. This is a book I didn't want to put down and will definitely re-read again!

Sylvie is half-human and half-fae. She lives in the neutral area between the world of fae where Fae are dangerous creatures not to be trifled with and the human world full of
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had the privilege of reading this book before its official release date! The story had some plot twists that I didn't see coming at all, but that I appreciated -- particularly because once they had happened, they made sense in the story world and there were hints beforehand, but I hadn't anticipated them.

Similarly, one of the great strengths of this book was the "otherness" of Faerie. The world building was very cohesive, yet it felt appropriately alien to me. I was able to empathize with Syl
Brianna Merritt
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fantastic fantasy story!

I had the privilege of reading this story before its official release date and it's definitely worth buying when I can. The characters were very real and I was drawn in immediately from page one! I would definitely recommend this book.
It's difficult to know where to begin in describing how truly excellent this novel is. There are so many layers to its brilliance. I was enthralled from beginning to end, and sorry once I'd finished. The sequel can't arrive fast enough for my liking. It's also hard to talk about the story without delving into spoilers, because startling plot twists come into play as early as the first few chapters. I will cautiously summarize the things I loved, but trust me, you should go into this book spoiler ...more

Things I like:

Sweet adult heroines who aren't dealing with teenage angst or delusions that being kick-butt and angry-all-the-time makes them a strong female.

Faerie kings who don't act like they are sexy, super mysterious, super powerful...I mean, he IS, but he doesn't act it.

Really awesome side-kick duo who are actually married. And are flirty and playful without provoking the reader.

Characters who come from tainted, even promiscuous pasts, but have still become good people
Deborah O'Carroll
(Review originally posted here:

Ten Thoughts on Halayda

1. TAYLAN. He’s the best. :D He’s the Faerie King and he’s epic and also caring and I love him to absolute bits. I love Zad too. ZAD IS ABSOLUTELY AWESOME. And snarky. XD

2. It takes place in a steampunk fantasy world and an attached Faerie world. I LOVED THIS. The Faerie world was very messed up for pretty much the entire story, but it was still kind of amazing and epic and just WOW too, and I loved t
Heather Hayden
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story! Fantasy and alchemy are both favorites of mine, so a story that combined the two was already appealing, but throw in amazing characters (I love Sylvie so much!) and a well-built world (well, worlds, really), and you have the perfect combination for this particular bookworm. I can't wait to read the other books in the series once they arrive!
K.L. + Pierce
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Halayda is a good old-fashioned fantasy with beautiful messages!

The characters were all very well-developed and relatable in their own right. Sylvie, marked as the Faerie savior, she is a lot braver than she thinks. She is willing to risk everything to save those she cares about, while at the same time wishing she could hide under her blankets. Which quite frankly, quests make you want to do that sometimes. Taylan is the Faerie king, struggling with his power both in politics and in magical abil
J.M. Hackman
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! I don't usually read stories about fairies -- I tend to gravitate more toward urban or contemporary fantasy, but the author pulled me in. Before the first chapter was over, I was rooting for Taylan and Sylvie. I also loved the secondary characters, Diza and Zad. There were hints of a deeper story with them and hope the next books share more of their background.
The world-building was well done. A directory listing all the different kinds of fairies and their abilities was include
Bethany A.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story had such an impact on me - not only was it a trippy, fascinating fantasy story unlike any I'd ever read before, but there were beautiful themes of hope and restoration woven throughout, which I found deeply encouraging.

The characters are fantastic!! Each one is unique and distinct, and stands out from the page, and their interactions and banter are so much fun to read, and their growth satisfying and beautiful. There are also a lot of very strong female characters (and males who total
J.A. Ironside
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This is a great Fae fantasy that will intrigue and charm fans of Holly Black. I had no idea this was an indie book originally but it stands up there with offerings from the big five. This is vivid, colourful, replete with sensory details and memorable characters. I loved the MC in particular. A its core this is a story about hope and redemption both the personal kind and on a grand scale. Really thoroughly enjoyed this.
Daley Downing
Aug 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Okay, this will be kind of a tough review. There are a lot of things I think about this novel. It's ambitious, it's unique, and while it's not without its issues, there's a lot going for it, too.

"Halayda" is a different take on the world of fairies/fae, with a less-than-typical look at the relationship between the realm of humans and other beings, but also includes types of fairies that we're all familiar with. Rather than the two being definitely separated and/or not aware of each other's exist
K.T. Ivanrest
Oct 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'd been waiting for this book to reach the top of my TBR pile, and it did not disappoint!

The characters, worldbuilding, story, and themes are all engaging and steeped in beautifully executed contrasts: Sylvie doubts her own worth but never fails to see the value of others; Taylan seems cursed with loss and destruction yet remains determined to protect Sylvie and his kingdom; the mortal realm is gritty and harsh, yet the magical Faerie, for all its moments of whimsy, was what really gave me the
Dec 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: readtoreview
Thanks to NetGalley and to the editor. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I had waited a lot to write the review for this book because I liked it and I enjoyed the reading, but I didn’t fall in love with it and I didn’t find something really peculiar to say about it. I’ve read it this some months ago and I was hoping for a good idea, but nothing came up and in the end and now I am here to write the few things that I have to say.

It wasn’t a bad reading, and it has a l
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it
**I received the copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

This was quite the read. The beginning was intriguing and kept my interest. There was significant world building. There were a quite a few characters introduced throughout the story. Sometimes it made it hard to keep track of who was who.

The thing that kept me from really enjoying the story though was the main female heroine. Sylvie was just plain annoying to me. She was good. Too good. She wa
C. Erani Kole
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fae, make-it-go-boom
*voluntarily and honestly reviewed the ARC I received from NetGalley*

4.5 - 5 stars for me. I love fae fantasies and the fact that the author combined them with alchemists was just downright cool. I liked what I took to be a spin on the Seelie and Unseelie, loved Sylvie and Taylan's chemistry (pun intended). Alchemists are a very interesting group not seen enough, which is why I enjoyed reading this so much. The thought of science and magic coming together is always exciting, you know? Add that w
Kimberly Vanderbloom
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a copy from NetGalley.

Overall, I was impressed with the story. It is on of the first stories I have ever read about facesfaesand I was quickly sucked in to the story. The only thing that stopped me from giving it 5 stars is the fact that I got rather confused in the beginning with all the different kinds of faes. Since I'm fairly new to this it would have been helpful to maybe have a glossary in back explaining what each fae powers and what they can do. After about 25% I started to un
Gemma Collins
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is probably about 3.5 stars.

I struggled to get into this book at first. I felt like I was thrown into the deep end, being thrown into this new world with very little explanation and meeting lots of characters from the get go. Thankfully, once they all arrived in Faerie, the world-building greatly improved and the characters began to develop into individuals I could recognise.

I admit that the MC, Sylvie, was a little too good to be true throughout this book and is probably my second least fa
This book was bloody incredible! This has got to be the most detailed start to a YA book series that I've read in a very long time; there has been so much effort put into the world building & the characters. I am genuinely stunned by this book & I cannot wait for the rest of the series!!

Disclaimer: I was sent an eARC of this book in return for an honest review

You can find my extended review here:
Ashley Stangl
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This book has an intricate, interesting world and interesting, likeable characters. However, it often feels that there are too many pieces, and too many characters with complicated backstories, which sometimes obscures the main plot rather than clarifying it. Lots of intriguing pieces, but we don't get a chance to explore anything as deeply as we perhaps should. Liked the characters, loved the Wild Hunt, and I would be interested in continuing with the series, to see if further books give the br ...more
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
Excellent Indie Novel: I enjoyed this read very much. it was something new for me because I don't read near enough books by independent authors, and I imagine I'm missing many good stories because I don't. I loved the world of the fae Ms. White introduced and the characters who must work together to save faerie from a horrible fate.
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was amazing, just like all books about fae😂 I honestly haven't read a book about faeries that i haven't liked yet. I love how this has a twist with alchemists. More people need to read this!
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Wow! Wow! Wow! This needs to be a movie. As I was reading I  could visualize everything, I wanted to walk into this realm and live there.

The story was superb, the characters were engaging and captivating. Sylvie was my hero; her innocence, her love and heart to do what was right and good made me smile many times. Taylan, has become one of my favorite male characters. I felt sad for him at times, because he allowed fear to hold him back. But we all have been taken hostage by fear at some p
It's too bad Goodreads doesn't allow one to correct one's spelling mistakes... Some of my keys stick and then there's a letter missing.

Loved this. Lush, vivid imagery, colorful, full of sensory detail. Definitely, want to read the next volume. While the world-building is complex, it is deftly woven into the plot development. Several of the characters have complex backstories that are used as part of their character development.
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read for fantasy

It was a great story which started building Well and introducing and getting to know the characters pretty much how they fit into the story story. So next book hopefully will. Continue to build......
Book Review originally published here:

I’ve read a lot of books about faeries, but Halayda was one of my favorite books in this subgenre. Sylvia Imanthiya was betrayed by a trusted mentor and now hides on the fringes of society, caring for half-fae orphans and trading her alchemical creations on the black market. One night each season can she see her best friend, a man whose destiny is far above hers – King Taylan Ashkalabek.

Taylan knows he shouldn’t be fr
Marisa Porter
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Halayda is magical and uplifting. While it deals with blood, violence, war, and death, at the same time it manages to be fun, positive, hopeful, funny, uplifting. There is “more light than darkness."

I love the pacing, both action-wise and emotionally. Bored easily with slow-paced books, this book has me turning pages eagerly (or in my case, swiping on my kindle).

I look forward to my reading time every day as a time I'll gain more insight into the human soul, and I know that I won't drown in desp
Sep 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.

So, to be honest, I didn't *super* love this book. I enjoyed the fae/human relationship story, and the fact that one world cannot quite be well without the other, but I don't think it hit the right buttons for me.

Firstly, I felt as though there was a whole chunk of backstory/character development that went on before the story started that we didn't get to see at all. It was like the reader was supposed to automatically be invested in these characters when we weren't really given a who
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Sarah Delena White was raised by wolves in an alternate dimension. She writes eclectic speculative fiction that reworks mythology with a fine balance of poetry and snark. She’s an experienced world traveler who loves to weave world folklore and ancient concepts into vibrant, original story worlds. She is also the Benevolent Firebird (administrative manager) for Uncommon Universes Press. When she’s ...more
More about Sarah Delena White

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“There have to be a few perks to being king of Faerie or no one would want the job.” 3 likes
“Why does a horse need to steal a horse?” Taylan held the reins of the bay stallion while Zad swung into the saddle of his new acquisition—a dapple gray that threatened to bite anyone who came within easy reach.

“Why would I run the whole way when someone else can do the work?” Zad settled onto the gray stallion’s back and smacked the horse’s nose as it nipped at his leg.

“It looks like you two will get along perfectly.”

“Shut up and start destroying things so we can get out of here.” Zad urged the scowling horse into the cover of the trees.”
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