Title: The Last Changeling
Author: Chelsea Pitcher
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Faerie Revolutions (Book #1)
Publication Date: November 8th, 2014
Format: Paperback, 360 Pages
ISBN-10: 0738740843 (Flux)
ISBN-13: 978-0738740843 (Flux)
Reviewed by: Kaitlin
Elora needs a sacrifice. What she gets is love.
Elora, the young princess of the Dark Faeries, plans to overthrow her tyrannical mother, the Dark Queen, and bring equality to faeriekind. All she has to do is convince her mother’s loathed enemy, the Bright Queen, to join her cause. But the Bright Queen demands an offering first: a human boy who is a “young leader of men.”
Enter seventeen-year-old Taylor, an exile in his own home. Unable to forgive himself for the accident that took his little brother’s life, he has spent the past year living in the carriage house above his parents’ garage to distance himself from his deteriorating family. When Taylor meets Elora, who he believes to be a runaway, he senses a kindred spirit and lets her crash in his room. Elora is overjoyed that she may have found her sacrifice so quickly . . . until she finds herself falling in love with Taylor.
Quick & Dirty: There were many things I enjoyed, though the romance was too insta-love for my favor.
Opening Sentence: I was seventeen when death first crossed my path.
Taylor is a boy with a dead brother, abandoning family, and hard life. Elora is on a quest for the chance to save the land of the fae from an oppresive reign. But when Elora enrolls in high school to find what she needs, she finds that high school is much like the fae land. Popular jocks rule over those who don’t fit in with an iron fist. Soon, she is leading not one, but two revolutions, and falling in love.
I had high expectations for this book. For one, that mind-blowing cover. Look at it! The colors and shapes and brightness! And the synopsis got my excitement growing even faster. Did The Last Changeling deliver? It was not everything I had hoped and dreamed, but there were parts of it that I enjoyed. It didn’t unfold at all the way I had thought at first it would. There is more emphasis on the main character’s relationship than the plotline, most of the time: while it made their romance more powerful, it also swallowed lots of pages that could have otherwise have been filled with richer details about the plotline that were more relevant.
The duel point of views were Elora and Taylor. One thing I really appreciated about Changeling was that the chapters from the two different characters were written differently enough that I could tell who was who, which is pretty rare. I never got confused from who I was reading from. They each have pressing problems, Elora’s being the safety of the faerie race, and Taylor’s being his family and the recent death of his brother. Like I said before, it was very centered on their relationship, which by the way was insta-love. I am not a huge fan of insta-love, preferring instead a gradual buildup like Tris and Four (Divergent). The fact that humans are told to be despicable creatures in faerie lore isn’t helping Taylor in his quest for Elora. Let me tell you, also — they pine for each other 80% of this book and in the last 20% their kisses begin.
The information you receive about the character’s backstories are extremely staggered. You really don’t know fully what had been happening until towards the end. But, another thing I liked was the fae. The way their world was built was unique, and lots of fun to read about. Though it took a while to really understand the faerie world, since as I said the world building was staggered, I was happy when I did.
Was I happy with The Last Changeling? It was a good beginning to a series, for sure. It dealt with sensitive subjects: bullying, death, war, abandonment, betrayal. Something that it did have and I was pleased that it did was bi-sexual and gay characters. As gay pride becomes more celebrated, it seems natural that gay characters should be cropping up more in books. I liked how Taylor’s strained relationship with his family changes as the book goes on, thanks to Elora and the new strength she gives him. I like how Elora fights the bullies at the school with the same fire that she does the evil fae in the final battle — it made me smile. The misfits team up to fight the jocks and the populars. A character that I love, love, loved was Kylie’s girlfriend, who was such a tremendous surprise when she was revealed thanks to reasons you will discover if you read the book. Altogether I enjoyed The Last Changeling, though certain problems made it less appealing. Namely the insta-love romance.
“In the created social order of high school, we are required to project very specific identities in order to be accepted. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of trying to fit in.”
I paused, letting the gravity of my words sink in. Half the crowd had risen to their feet and those enthusiasts were nodding.
“I’m sick of trying to mold myself into someone else’s definition of acceptable, beautiful, valuable. I know I’m valuable. Why must I spend every day of my life proving it to other people? And at night, as I lie in bed, I think about the efforts I made that day to fit into an impossibly narrow standard, and I feel like I’m living a lie.”
FTC Advisory: Flux provided me with a copy of The Last Changeling. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.