If you’re in search of a magically delightful and whimsical queer regency romance, look no further, because Olivia Atwater’s Longshadow is here and ready to check all of your boxes.
Author Olivia Atwater’s Regency Faerie Tales series continues with Longshadow, which follows the story of Miss Abigail Wilder. Fans of Atwater’s series will remember Abigail from when she was first introduced as a child in Half a Soul. Now 18-years-old, the Lord Sorcier of England, Elias, and his wife, Lady Theodora, have since taken Abigail in as their daughter. The story finds London in a concerning state, as several marriageable young ladies have been found dead of mysterious causes, which has lead the Lord Sorcier to begin investigating a dark lord of faerie, Lord Longshadow. Abigail, having developed her own proficiency in magic over the years, involves herself in the case as well, which leads her to cross paths with Mercy, a street rat and self-taught magician.
Fans of Half a Soul and the subsequent Ten Thousand Stitches will find that Longshadow, which is easily the strongest entry in the series, is a wonderfully satisfying culmination that weaves together what we’ve learned thus far about Atwater’s world of Regency Faerie Tales and the various assortment of characters that we’ve met along the way. Abigail is a strong, resilient, and relatable main character who effortlessly carries the story from start to finish, taking readers along with her for a captivating ride. And while the events unfold from Abigail’s point of view, Atwater takes care to spend ample time fleshing out the rest of the characters to allow readers to connect with them as well, such as the enigmatic Mercy and Abigail’s younger brother Hugh.
Despite Abigail’s complete and total lack of enthusiasm about participating in the marriage mart crowd, spending time with Mercy — with whom she has an enticing “enemies-to friends-to-lovers” dynamic — is something else entirely. As Abigail works her way through a dangerous investigation that requires her to face off with the absurd oddities of the faerie realm, she also finally finds some much-needed comfort in her own skin as she (with the help of Mercy) is both surprised and relieved to realize that her sexuality is not to be defined by the limits of what she has seen in society. The steady, soft, and wholesome development of Abigail and Mercy’s relationship is certain to leave readers enchanted and swooning by the final pages.
Overall, Atwater crafts a descriptive, colorful, and poetic world in Longshadow that effortlessly marries the concepts of historical romance, faeries, and magic into one single engrossing, lovely, and spellbinding story that is not to be missed.