Themes: Adult, Regency, Fantasy Romance
It’s difficult to find a husband in Regency England when you’re a young lady with only half a soul.
Ever since she was cursed by a faerie, Theodora Ettings has had no sense of fear or embarrassment – a condition which makes her prone to accidental scandal. Dora hopes to be a quiet, sensible wallflower during the London Season – but when the strange, handsome and utterly uncouth Lord Sorcier discovers her condition, she is instead drawn into dangerous and peculiar faerie affairs.
If Dora’s reputation can survive both her curse and her sudden connection with the least-liked man in all of high society, then she may yet reclaim her normal place in the world. . . but the longer Dora spends with Elias Wilder, the more she begins to suspect that one may indeed fall in love, even with only half a soul.
I think this book has a very clever concept: using fantasy as a way to set modern topics/issues in the Regency era. Our main character, Theodora or Dora for her friends, is indeed missing half of her soul. And what? could you say. Well, this missing half makes her incapable of feeling strong, fleeting emotions such as joy or shame for example. This leads Dora to put herself in difficult situations (and funny for us, readers) when she is in society.
This character is the occasion for the book to show and denounce how badly we can treat people that are different from us. It’s not because Dora doesn’t react when she receives petty comments that she doesn’t feel anything. And the reason why she is an interesting narrator is because of her differences since she is seeing, interpreting, and analysing her environment in a totally different way from the others. I also liked how her POV was also a social commentary on the Regency era and how this book is showing the reader the more sombre parts of it, that could picture in a Dicken’s novel.
I felt that these commentaries were the true goal of this novel, much more than the romance. This one was sweet, with some tension between Dora and her Lord Sorcier (I really enjoyed his character, who was unconventional for his time too). For once, I happened to discover a very clean romance, with no spice at all, and I have to say I didn’t mind at all because the story didn’t need it to stand on its own!
In brief: I really enjoyed this romance, that I read in one sitting. I wished the secondary characters had a bit more depth, but I survived nonetheless. I liked the mixed ending, but most of all the fact that the one having a happy one is the girl others considered odd. I totally understand why this is sold as perfect for the fans of Bridgerton and faes, and I think it is perfect if you are looking for a nice romance that will show you a more historically accurate picture of the Regency era.
My rating: 4/5
3 thoughts on “Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater”
hjhjgjgjf this book actually sounds RIDICULOUSLY INTERESTING?? like the entire premise of it IS UNIQUE ON ITS OWN, TO BEGIN WITH. but also those awkward and sometimes disastrous social situations you mentioned being hilarious?? LOOK. DON’T JUDGE, BUT THAT MIGHT BE THE SOLE REASON I END UP READING THIS BOOK. AM IN LOVE WITH YOUR REVIEW (AND ALSO THE ENTIRE BLOG, ACTUALLY. IT’S STUNNING) AND CANNOT WAIT TO READ MORE OF YOUR POSTS ❤❤
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Thanks for your lovely comment 💜 To be honest, I sometimes read a book only for its disastrous social situations too 😉
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