Cover Image: Lava Red Feather Blue

Lava Red Feather Blue

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Member Reviews

Thanks to NetGalley and Central Avenue for providing me with a copy.

The beginning of this book really intrigued me and I was so excited to keep reading to see how it all unravelled. However, about 30% of the way through I found that I was quickly losing interest and I didn’t seem to be invested in the characters. 

Overall, it had good prospects but unfortunately it wasn’t for me.
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““Its strange but I miss you. I meant it truly when I wished to see you again. But I cannot send for you without endangering you”  

Title: Lava Red Feather Blue
Author: Molly Ringle
Type: Standalone
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Fantasy, LGBT Romance, Retelling

Lava Red Feather Blue was a delightful surprise. It took me on an adventure to the Fae world, a world I am known to love. I think this year and the past one has been all about finding these hidden gems in books and this story / sleeping beauty retelling is definitely up there. Our fantasy story starts with Merrick as he unravels a spell freeing a prince who was been kept asleep a long with a dark Faery called Ula Kana. A soon as Prince Larkin wakes, so does she and she starts creating a civil war within their country. Soon the two men have to go into the Faery lands and try to capture the evil creature. 

I enjoyed many parts of the story, one of my favorite ones being the silly banter and romance that blooms between Larkin and Merrick. It is pretty insta-love, but I enjoyed it and I felt it worked for the adventure they were going on and the time that they were really passing in the faery lands. Something I didn't like about the characters was that they seemed way younger than what they actually were. They were supposed to be grown adults of 26 and 29, but the dialogue sometimes seemed fit for a 17 year old. This didn't make me take them so seriously as I should have. 

The action itself was pretty good, I loved the scenes where they venture into the different realms in the Fae territory and have to go through different tasks in order to defeat Ula Kana. Many cute scenes are added here and there that make the story come alive and be very unique as per all those other adventure fantasy stories that exist. 


--- 3 stars ---
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This book came out on my birthday! So it's actually a shame that it took me until after my birthday to read it, when I've had the arc for a while now.

Anyway, the beginning of Lava Red Feather Blue was really not my cup of tea. 
I couldn't tell you what it was, but something about the way we're told about the world just feels clumsy. I also immediately assumed this to be a high fantasy, so I got caught by surprise by Hydrangea, the Giant Flemish Rabbit. But. Lava Red Feather Blue takes place on an imaginary pacific island in the real world, so that's kinda cool! All those popular fae book usually have what feels like half a chapter in the "real" world and the rest takes place in the fae realm.
While we're talking about the fae: I'm really glad Ringle decided to put in more fae creatures than what is popular right now (so, tall, human-looking, hot, assholes) and went with a more diverse setup. There's all kinds of fae, hobs, redcaps, sylphs, and my personal favourite: the kelpies. 
It is a really refreshing look, and I especially like the way Ringle mixes together this fantastical world and the modern world with phones and stuff. In my opinion, that's a trope wildly underused and that I call "contemporary but with dragons". 
I also really liked that we 
a) don't have a 16/17 year old plain-but-hot female main character that falls for the hot-but-mean fae, but instead we get 29 year old Merrick, a perfumer (that's so cool!) and Larkin, a human prince! And also all kinds of diverse characters, with Cassidy for example, who's, as far as I can tell, nonbinary and goes by they/them, and also no lowkey homophobia to go with Merrick's gay ass. 

Unfortunately, while the world Ringle set up was pretty cool, the plot fell flat. It's extremely linear and really just "going to place a to do thing b" repeated three or four times, and that's the plot.
Lava Red Feather Blue wanted a lot more than it delivered, which was unfortunate, since it had a lot of potential, what with the racism (specism?) against the fae, the corruption of the government and the regulations placed upon witches. It would've been very interesting to read more about how those restrictions influenced Merrick's life for example, but we saw very little of this considering how often Merrick repeated that he has two strikes and another strike would mean jailtime.

I'm still giving this four stars, even with the flaws, just because I like that there's no main fae-human coupling that ends in wild sex (I'm looking at you, SJM) and the world was really cool! So, give it a try!


@NetGalley and Central Avenue Publishing: Thank you guys for this ARC!
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I thought going back into fantasy, Ringle would hit her stride again and the story would magically sweep me away as Goblins did. Unfortunately I felt this one struggled a bit to decide what it wanted to be, and I just never felt connected to the characters or the story the way I wanted to... I never felt engaged with the story or the plot. It moved slower than I wanted it to, and there was a lot of written description that felt like it slowed the pace down rather than added to the complexity of the world that was being built.

There are a lot of people who really love this one - so definitely read more reviews before deciding for yourself. This one just didn't do it for me... It was a fine story, I just never found myself lost in it or its characters the way I did with the earlier book. Lava Red Feather blue, unfortunately, turns out to be in that same vein for me...
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I'm really disappointed in my response to this one... The Goblins of Bellwether was one of my favorite books the year it was released. Ringle did an amazing job creating a world out of whole cloth, and populating it with characters who were fascinating and fragile and quirky and wholly engaging. Iwent into her second, 
All the Better Part of Me expecting to recreate that magic, albeit in a very different way - and was saddened to find that it was a book that just didn't resonate with me. It was a fine story, I just never found myself lost in it or its characters the way I did with the earlier book. Lava Red Feather blue, unfortunately, turns out to be in that same vein for me... 

I thought, going back into fantasy, Ringle would hit her stride again and the story would magically sweep me away as Goblins did. Unfortunately I felt this one struggled a bit to decide what it wanted to be, and I just never felt connected to the characters or the story the way I wanted to... I never felt engaged with the story or the plot. It moved slower than I wanted it to, and there was a lot of written description that felt like it slowed the pace down rather than added to the complexity of the world that was being built.

There are a lot of people who really love this one - so definitely read more reviews before deciding for yourself. This one just didn't do it for me...
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Actual rating: 2.5 stars

This book was just okay. It had a great premise but the execution just felt off to me. There was far too much exposition at the start of the book for me to immediately become engaged, the dialogue felt clunky and the descriptions were subpar. The romantic relationship wasn't bad although some of the decisions of both mc's was frustrating at time.
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Personally I thought the beginning of this book hooked me but I just lost interest about 25% of the way through. Maybe I'm not the target audience, maybe I'm just dull. This one wasn't for me personally.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Central Avenue for giving me a e-ARC in exchange for a honest review.

This story was a Sleeping Beauty retell with a LGBTQ twist to it. I absolutely enjoyed this book from beginning to end. The romance and plot were great. The characters were also enjoyable to read about. My favorite part of this book was the setting.

I felt that at about halfway into the book I got a little overwhelmed and started slow down my reading of this book. At a few various parts I was just trying to push through them. Overall I did really enjoyed this book.
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While I appreciate the author's effort to bring cultural diversity into this book as well as its interesting concept, I found the writing lacking flexibility and creativity. So as I was trying to dwell myself in this faerie-inspired island that she has created, it's hard to thoroughly enjoy it. I had been informed before reading that I might find some typing errors, but I doubt that even such an incident would be a sufficient explanation for the anti-climatic feeling I got from her conduction of penmanship. 

The main couple itself and the whole cast overall didn't leave me any remarkable impressions either. As I have mentioned above, the author tried to fill this book with a wide range of characters from many ethnics (especially the Hawaiian cultural references) and sexualities being normalized of which I always want to see more in this particular genre, I can't help but find them tokenized and didn't receive much representation in this story. If Ms. Ringle had to dump down clarifications for that in the acknowledgment, I'd say, her effort was not satisfactory, and it could have been done so much better. 

As for the concept of this book, it was really enticing to me, since we don't normally see the supernatural factorials being blended into daily life in urban fantasy, but usually seen as some secret society unknown to humans. But this idea was so poorly handled and lack consistency. Many details went unexplained, many others were unnecessary, and some didn't make any sense. 

Great concept and intention. But with bad writing and terrible execution.
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This story is basically an adult, queer, sleeping beauty set on a magical island in the pacific ocean.
 
The island of Eidolonia is set in the real world but because of magic it scrambles satellites and boats are often pushed off course so it hasn't been discovered by the world.  
I really liked this idea because the pacific is so vast that there very easily could be an island out there with magical beings on it. (In my head anyway)

Around 300 years prior, the fae agreed to let humans stay on the island, they could marry whoever they wanted and go by whatever gender they wanted. The humans on the island also began to develop magical powers of their own from the proximity of the fae. 
After a while there was a war between fae and humans, and to gain peace, Prince Larkin was sacrificed and put into a permanent magical slumber. 

We theb travel to 2020 where we meet Merrick, a descendant of the witch who put Larkin under the spell and who doesn't really know what he's doing with his life. And after finding some of his ancestors magical trinkets he accidentally wakes Prince Larkin up.
However this also means he awakens the fearsome Ula Kana, a fae set on destroying the humans. 
Larkin and Merrick form and unlikely friendship, challenge the corrupt government and then head out on a quest to the fae realm to try and save the island. 

There is dual POVs in this book but I have to admit they weren't quite different enough because I often couldn't tell who was speaking. 

It's a gritty, self sacrificing and realistic fantasy tale with a unique set up. 
Merrick's family and friends were brilliant and the romance was a wonderful slow burn. However it definitely has a bittersweet ending which I found a bit depressing. Maybe because it was a bit too realistic I'm not sure. 
That being said I still really enjoyed it and will most likely read it again!

CW: death, ptsd, depression
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Queer fairytale retellings are the best thing ever! I really enjoyed this story. Great characters and storytelling. The novel was very engaging and plot-heavy and I really liked that. You get what the synopsis promises1
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Sleeping Beauty continued...

Lava Red Feather Blue was not the type of book I was expecting. I'm not one for standalones but I really enjoyed reading of a Sleeping Beauty retelling featuring Merrick and Larkin's adventures after the beauty wakes up. 

Merrick wakes Larkin up from a 220 year long sleep that he was forced into. When Larkin awakes, so does Ula Kana, a fae hell bent on destoying the humans of Eidolonia. Now they must find a way to trap her again, before the government forces Larkin back into his restless slumber. 

Wizards and WiFi

The integration of technology into a fantasy world/realm was interesting. I'm not a huge fan of tech in my fantasy books, but the author addresses that through her characters, which I thought was an interesting twist that modernized the story. The fact that Ringle did is so well impresses me, which is what kept me reading. 

I found the story a bit juvenile but the writing and sexy scenes is what made it more of an adult fantasy. Those more intimate scenes were written tastefully with enough suggestion to know exactly what was going on, which I thought made the book that much better. Ringle keeps the language relatively clean while still delivering content that readers might have been looking for.

Young and the Restless

I don't find that Merrick acted his age. At a certain point in the novel, we learn that he is close to 30. I swear I thought he was 14-18 up until that point. Maybe it was his dialogue or the way he presented himself, or maybe compared to Larkin he seemed really young to me.

Once I understood that we were waking up Prince Larkin, I got really excited. The connection between a centuries-old character and one from today is always a fun experience. I was worried that since this was written as a modern day fantasy with tech, the book would focus on Larkin learning how to use a phone and getting mad at the TV. There were glimpses of incomprehension here and there, but it was never the focus which made the book for me.

Love is love, and people are people

A lot of LGBTQ+ books tend to present characters who deal with homophobia or coming out issues, which are prevalent in the community and are important to talk about. However, I think it's just as important to present characters as living normal, happy lives. 

This is exactly what Ringle does. We have M/M romance, F/F romance, and a non binary character, and not once are these mentioned outwardly or present an issue. I think it's great to present these characteristics as normal to society, because they are normal.

Great standalone book

We get a nice finale at the end of the book that gives us closure and solidifies the standalone-ness of the book. I thought this was a perfect ending to a great story, and I'm happy to leave it as a standalone to keep the characters just the way they are.
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This story felt like a warming hug from the beginning until the very end. 

Throughout the book we have this captivating narrative and amazing descriptions which help us visualize the surroundings with ease and even feel the magic all around it. So, yes, it was really captivating! The setting was lovely, like a dream world. 
 
I loved the characters, all of them! They were so different from each other but if we pay attention, we get to learn something from each one of them. For me, the theme and the message this book passes are the most important things to retain from this reading.

One of my favourite things about this book was how the author managed to create a world where LGBT isn't even a matter of discussion. Everything is so normal that no one questions anything, no one feels out of place. We can't even say it's something "acceptable" because it just feels normal and right. That was amazing and I absolutely loved it. 

Also, especially by the end of the book, we are taught the lesson of accepting our differences and living with each other in peace and harmony. Friendship and loyalty also have a strong focus here as well!

Even though I could focus a little bit more on reviewing this book on a technical level, I think the essence here is really all the emotions we go through and what we can retain by the end. This book will leave you thinking about your friendships, about acceptance and wanting to be a better person overall.
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Big thanks to Netgalley and Central Avenue Publishing for providing me with an e-ARC.

Lava Red Feather Blue by Molly Ringle
Pub : Jan 5, 2021 
4.85⭐
_________________________________________________________

This book told the adventure of Prince Larkin, who was put to sleep in 1799 by magic as a way to contain Ula Kana- a fae who is bringing chaos and destruction to human in Eidolonia. Over 200 years had passed and Prince Larkin was awaken from his slumber by a half-fae called Merrick resulting for Ula Kana to be also awaken. We follow how both our main character learn how to overcame their fears, know who they can trust, calm the people of Eidolonia and once and for all stop Ula Kana without using unwilling sacrifice.

- i tried my best explaining the story without spoiling too much😂.
___________________________________________________________

First off, i gotta admit that i really couldn't get into the story at first read. Maybe it was because of the writing style. So i decided to read it again from the beginning and this time i was able to enjoy the story. For me, the book is quite fast-paced but not to the point you won't be able to take in the story. 

The story is really engaging for me as there are moments that i need to put my phone down because i was overwhelmed, angry and shock. Dialogues between character is also very funny and easy, especially between our 2 main character.

I love how author displayed the weaknesses and fears of the characters shows us how they handle it. I'm glad that the characters actually solved their disagreement by communicating(thanks Lord and Lady), i've had enough of stories where small argument could've been settle just by talking but both parties refused to communicate and it leads to a freaking huge misunderstanding. 

Also, the fact that the author shows us the aftermath of the war, the consequences, the traumas, the grieves, the angers, the acceptance and how everyone is faring. 

All in all, truly a engaging and wholesome read. I did cried a few times reading this and i really encourages everyone to read this.

#lavaredfeatherblue #netgalley
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This fun Sleeping Beauty-esque fantasy read has it all - fae, witches, magic, an enchanted island and royalty.

220 years ago Prince Larkin was put into an enchanted sleep to stop a Civil War with the fae realm. Flash forward to 2020 and Merrick, a half-fae & flying witch, somehow wakes him up. Now Merrick has to deal with an 18th century prince in a 21st century world, and an island that's now on the brink of turmoil.

I really enjoyed this book! It was the perfect blend of adventure, romance and fantasy. I loved all the characters! Merrick, Larkin, Merrick's family - they're so delightful! And the tension between Merrick & Larkin throughout was perfect. 😉

If you're looking for a fun, fantasy read, pick this one up!

Thanks to @centavepub & @netgalley for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was a very readable tale. Fans of The Binding by Bridget Collins may enjoy it as it does revolve around LGBTQ characters although this isn't a central theme. I did finish this as an easy read but wouldn't be a book I would choise reread.

This may be an unpopular position but I did feel that writing Cassidy as non-binary felt a tad forced. I could be wrong, but although the narration was at pains to say that those defining themselves as non-binary was common, I didn't notice any of the other characters being coded this way. Personally I found making Cassidy non-binary smacked a little of box ticking rather than part of creating a rounded character. Other readers are of course free to feel differently.
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What lured me to this book was that it's LGBTQIA and an interesting twist on Sleeping Beauty, if you will. With fae living alongside humans, in our world. Existing places and countries and whatnot.

It started out okay. We get the background, the past about the war between the fae and humans and how it finally ended. Then we're introduced to our main lead, Merrik and other minor characters. The story starts to unfold when he accidentally wakes up the prince, Larik, who had to go into a deep sleep, in order to also put the fae villain into a deep sleep. If one woke, so did the other. I'm guessing you can imagine what happened, with Larik waking up.

Sadly, it didn't really pull me in. My mind wandered, I wasn't all that eager to see what would happen. I flipped and read. The ending was cute.

I recommend this book to fae lovers and I hope you enjoy it.

I voluntarily agreed to read an early copy via Netgalley and my rating is 2.5 - 3 stars.
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Surprisingly, I had never heard of any sleeping beauty retellings before this one. I’m starting to really get into retellings so I definitely wanted to give this one a chance so I decided to find out more about it. The excitement I felt when hearing that 1) it’s gay and 2) the story only starts when waking up the prince…it was probably not healthy. But, weak as I am, I obviously was in need of this!

“Alone is better than an army. But two is better than alone.”

Okay okay okay. This began so good already! Like, the intrigue of this story immediately grabbed me and I don’t think it will ever let me go, even though I finished it. I mean, the twists Molly Ringle gave us are truly amazing!

Molly Ringle also has a very nice writing style. When I started reading, time really flew by because I was so absorbed by the story. I could picture everything vividly (which is always a bonus!) and the dialogue fitted perfectly with each character (especially Larkin, I could practically hear him!).

I do feel like the pacing of this book was all over the place. Sometimes my heart was beating so fast it got a bit concerning, while at other times I just felt like there wasn’t happening enough to really keep me going. So that kinda had its ups and downs.

What didn’t have ups and downs though, was the romance. I was so invested (again, to an extend that maybe wasn’t healthy!). There was just a lot of tension between Larkin and Merrick and you know I’m here for that. They were so cute and precious and I! just! want them! to be! happy!!!

I’d say the characters really were my favourite part of the story. Like, yes, the world was interesting but it didn’t have something extraordinary for me. There were also some things I would’ve loved to see Molly Ringle explore more to add an extra layer to the world.

I did cry though. Like, sorry, but this book is wild at some points, okay? I don’t know but at three moments I found myself crying and screaming NO!

Back to the characters for a second though, I’m living for them? Especially Merrick and Larkin since this book is literally, well, focused on them. They made me laugh (again, THAT DIALOGUE!!) but also made my breath catch in my throat. And their character development is great, too!

This book definitely deserves more attention because wow! I hope I’ve caught your attention by saying “Sleeping beauty, but make it gay” and that you are now craving this book. It’s truly amazing and I definitely recommend it! Lava red feather blue gets a 4/5 from me! I can only stan!

Thank you to Central avenue publishing for providing me with this e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
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I’d like to take a moment to thank Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for an arc in exchange of an honest review. 

Where to start? 
Would you believe this is the first MLM novel I’ve ever read? Not on purpose, but since I only read sci fi and fantasy it doesn’t pop up often. I didn’t even realise when I picked it up (though I guessed pretty fast). 

I absolutely loved this novel. Sadly seems to be a stand alone but after the resolution at the end I feel this would be fitting. I’m not sure there would be room for more exploration.

The writing is lovely and both character voices are very distinct - the fact they’re from different time periods really does help. Occasionally I would find language used in one of the sections didn’t quite fit but it was minimal.

I enjoyed the blend of technology and the modern world with magic and the Fey, in a way that didn’t actually cause issues. I liked the tensions between people though I wish those things were solved as easily in real life. 
I did really enjoy the fact that this wasn’t a coming out story and that being lgbt+ was not questioned and was just part of life. The only time I wondered was about Cassidy being gender neutral/ non binary simply because everyone automatically knew to call them by they their pronouns and I wondered if this was as automatically intuitive to people. It was never an issue and I didn’t even notice it until I realised their child called them by their name not mum or dad. So clearly it’s not a problem! 

I kind of wished we got more time with the side characters but overall I felt everyone had a distinct voice - only Cassidy felt underused. 

I genuinely think this was a lovely romance that didn’t solely focus on romance. I really recommend it - I needed something nice to distract me in hard times and it made my heart happy. 

There is some sex but honestly it’s very tame even for my asexual tastes so I doubt many could find it too racy. It’s really sweet.
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A queer sleeping beauty retelling? Count me in. I was so excited to read Lava Red Feather Blue and I loved the first half of the book. However, around the halfway point I started to get a bit bored. I felt like I saw a lot of the events coming and I just lost interest.

Overall, I did enjoy the book, but I agree with some of the comments of other reviewers. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a eARC in exchange for a honest review.
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