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(Star-Fae Trilogy #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  160 ratings  ·  80 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
Paperback, 462 pages
Published March 23rd 2017 by Uncommon Universes Press (first published 2017)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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Another Fellowship of Fantasy Indie Book Club read!

HALAYDA was a fun read - fast-paced, never dull, and showcasing some intriguing speculative-fiction concepts (for example, I really enjoyed the storm dragon).

The central conceit of the book is the faerie concept of marriage - after all, when you live for thousands of years, marriage is pretty serious, and so in HALAYDA it becomes this whole mystical bond that allows you to mind-meld with each other, share powers and become stronger together th
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
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
Laura 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 dr
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.
Laurie Lucking
I'm so mad at myself for taking so long to get started reading this book, it was amazing!! I enjoyed getting to know the different types of faeries and the complexity of which faeries were considered "good" versus "bad." The characters were all distinctive, and even the secondary characters had depth and interesting back stories. The writing was beautiful, with excellent pacing and vivid descriptions. Most of all, I loved that Sylvie stayed true to herself and her kind, compassionate nature and ...more
H.S.J. Williams

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! ...more
The only reason this book isn't a 5-star read for me is that I didn't quite click with the characters (Sylvie in particular) or the writing style as well as I would've liked. That's probably just me, though. I still highly recommend this; it's got an awesome magical-steampunky world, an exciting plotline, delightful romance (without love triangles! or detail better left to the imagination! or characters being idiots for the sake of love!), excellent twists, intriguing magic, and the Wild Hunt. ( ...more
Bethany Jennings
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.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
Jessica Belmont
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you know anything about me, you know I absolutely love (well-written) Fantasy novels. I don’t always get the opportunity to read in this genre. Well, I found one brilliant fantasy novel in, Halayda!! Wow, wow, wow! There…that basically sums up my review. I’m going to go into a little more detail here, but just go pick up this book. It’s THAT good.

The characters were fantastic. The relationships between them were refreshing. One thing I really enjoyed was the relationship between Sylvie and Ta
Clairisa  Campbell
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutly adored this story. The characters were great the world was fantastic. I want to reread it again and again. A must read for any steampunk fantasy fan for sure.
Grace T
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay this was really good. Mainly because I love the characters and also that ending has to be one of the more creative ways to be able to overcome boundaries between mortal and immortal (vague because spoilers). This was great all on its own--looking forward to the next book!
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
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
Jacqueline Patterson
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm officially a fan! This was exactly the fantasy story I was looking for, and I'm breathless with impatience for the next book. Vivid characters and an ethereal writing style make this book unique in the ranks of fantasy. ...more
Amelia Nichole Defield
A thoroughly enjoyable fantasy romance with an action-packed adventure! It starts off right in the middle of things and reveals bits of information one piece at a time. I am impressed by Sarah's ability to create such an in-depth and complex world, and yet only reveal it piece by piece, without info dumps! There is so much to explore in her version of the faerie realm AND the human realm. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. I think my favorite characters are a tie between Zad and D ...more
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
*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
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful story, falls right in line with all things Faerie with a new definition for the Hunt. Sylvie is the compassionate heroine who posses strength that she doesn't even realize fueled not by hate but by love. Love of all things as she also learns love of self. What story would be complete with out a Fae King for romance and halflings as loyal friends. On the edge of my seat and can't believe I had taken so long to load this to the Kindle. Thank you NetGalley for being able to read th ...more
H.A. Titus
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
There are three reasons that I love this book...
The first is the combined settings of steampunk and ethereal woods. I absolutely love the blend.
The second are the characters, but especially Zad and Diza, the pooka and the elf who are probably the most chaotic-but-loving couple ever.
The third is the way that the idea of destiny intertwines and weaves through all of these characters and their stories.
Sarah Delena White writes in a way that, mostly, captures the ethereal quality of some of the stor
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
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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 the administrative manager for Uncommon Universes Press. When she’s not writing, she can be fo ...more

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“Talking with you and seeing the world through your eyes that night was different, from the very first words you said to me.” Sylvie cringed. “Was there something particularly appealing about, ‘Get lost, you nosey gutter-crawler’?” “That, and the rotten apple you threw at me. That doesn’t happen to a king very often.” 4 likes
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