Lady Changeling (Changelings, Book 1)
Cat’s Cradle Press
Lady Changeling is a solid, enjoyable book that kept my interest. Set in the 1700s, in England, the lady of a manor has a secret. Theodora loves the lord of the Manor, her husband Lord Eric Grayson, and her two children—very much. But she was sent to him ten years ago to find a weapon that threatens her kind. She is actually a fae named Clarimonde, and a glamour keeps her looking like a human woman instead of a green-skinned creature with wings.
And time is running out. Her husband is starting to suspect she is not what she seems to be, and the reason they need this weapon to defend the fae, and humans, is nearly upon them. A cosmic, evil creature beaten off at the time the fae were created is returning to earth, soon, and will destroy them all unless they can find “the Lens” which can burn it out of the sky. And why does the manor hide the Lens? Because it was used in a war against the fae by Lady Changeling’s husband’s grandfather. But Lord Eric has no idea where it was hidden!
Meanwhile, there’s bad blood left over from the war on the fae on both sides, for the fae sent horrific plagues on the humans and Griffin Grayson used the Lens to burn all the fae he could find, including helpless infants, until their kind were driven into caves away from the light of the moon that gave them their power.
So on the human side you have people like Fitzroy Hugh, fanatically loyal to the current Lord Grayson and equally fanatical about his hatred for the fae. And on the fae side you have creatures like the assassin Redthorne: she’s so consumed with a desire to get back at humans that she can’t see straight. And you really want the romance between Theodora/Clarimonde and Eric to succeed, but the situation looks hopeless.
While not giving the rest of the book away I can say it involves pirates, a mad alchemist, and a mystery plot worthy of Agatha Christie. It’s extremely well done and Altabef left things open for a sequel. I will say that the grande finale was worthy of an Ilona Andrews book, and I collect her books, so that should tell you something.
I am really looking forward to the sequels. (Editor’s later note: Four books and they’re all terrific! IN case you’re looking for a new series to read, here’s a link to them on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DFSWXGN)