A girl at night, a caged monster during the day.
I began reading Korrigan by Rebecca F. Kenney in the midst of reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Why is this important? Just wait, I’ll explain in a moment. If you’re familiar with Discovery of Witches, you know that it centres around the story of ‘no-I-don’t-want-to-be-a-witch’ witch Diana Bishop and 1500-year-old vampire, Matthew de Clermont. Although a wonderful story at its core, Diana’s character is absolutely infuriating. She makes every ridiculous decision one could make and is only ever saved by Matthew, and never takes any sort of initiative herself. Matthew becomes the star of the narrative and is painted as Diana’s saviour, which then paints Diana as a woman who needs to be saved. Now, why I wanted to reference Discovery in the review for Korrigan is that it was so refreshing to be confronted with a female character who actually is wholly herself. Korrigan by Rebecca F. Kenney is the first in her Secrets of the Fae series and tells the fantastical story of Aislinn, a Korrigan, whose form transforms from human to ‘Beast’ during the impenetrable depth of darkness. The synopsis is as follows and can be on GoodReads:
A girl at night, a caged monster during the day. Aislinn has lived in darkness as long as she can remember. She is Korrigan— and only by Life-Stealing can she keep her human shape from dawn to dusk. When she finally steps into the sunlight, the first person she sees is Zane. He’s everything she wants— handsome, sweet, and normal.
But an encounter with the Far Darrig, the malevolent trickster of Old Irish myth, changes Aislinn’s future. He opens a new realm of possibilities that are anything but normal— and with them, brings dreams and desires as dangerous as he is.
Above all, Aislinn craves choice— the right to decide her own path. But what if gaining power for herself means giving up something much more precious?
I received Korrigan as an e-ARC for review prior to publication by the author herself, and I was coloured intrigued by the initial email. Aislinn herself is such a unique and interesting character, and her strength is demonstrated throughout the novel. Aislinn’s character grows exponentially but she is given the freedom to make her own choices and be her own woman. When I was reading, I was constantly just punching my fist in the air because finally, that’s the kind of female protagonist I want to read. Diana Bishop, who?
I could write about the character of Aislinn much longer, but I really don’t want to spoil the story, so I’ll quickly consider the overall narrative and the writing. The story itself is a fantastic and unique take on the usual Fae-type stories that have abounded after the release of Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series. Kenney’s narrative is complex and twists Irish mythology and folklore with the supernatural and the magical. It takes you on the story of Aislinn and her journey of trying to lead a life with some sense of normalcy – but, honestly, what is ‘normal‘?- by the daylight. The reader is met with a myriad of characters, who are written as quite solid characters in themselves, but I want to emphasise the character Far Darrig. As the ‘villain’ of the story, I have to say that he was quite an enjoyable character – he is far more intricate than I initially suspected.
In terms of the writing itself, it’s more of a criticism borne out of a personal dislike. See, I tend to steer clear from first-person perspectives in novels. I feel that YA is full of first-person narratives, and I have no idea why, but I seem to disconnect slightly more with both the story and the characters as a result. At some points, I felt that the flow of the writing and the way in which some of the sentences were constructed, was slightly in discordance with the narrative itself. These parts did not read as well and were less enjoyable. However, this is only my opinions and Korrigan is such an enjoyable read overall, especially for YA fans. I would thus say that I would give Korrigan by Rebecca Kenney a 3.5 out of 5 stars. For fans of strong female characters, interesting-as-hell villains, a fantastic storyline with such an intriguing premise, you will certainly adore Korrigan.
That brings this review to an end, my loves! Until next time, happy reading!
Goodreads link for Korrigan
Amazon link for Korrigan
Twitter link @RebeccaFKenney1
Amazon link for Druid
Rebecca F. Kenney is the author of Korrigan, the first book in the YA paranormal/fantasy romance trilogy “Secrets of the Fae.” Korrigan, Druid, and Samhain are her debut novels in this genre, inspired by her love of YA fiction with a dash of the supernatural and an irresistible romance. When Rebecca isn’t writing what she loves for fun, she writes what other people want for money. She lives in beautiful Greenville, South Carolina– a hip and happening city that is also the setting for Korrigan– along with her handsome, 6’4″, blue-eyed husband and two smart, energetic kids.