Esme’s SPFBO 2017: Ever Shade by Alexia Purdy

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This was part of Fantasy Factions grouping, and has since been eliminated.

I listened to the audiobook of this, so some of the names and spellings may be wrong.


Shade is a senior in high school and finds out that she’s half fae, her father enchanted her mother and erased her memory of him, and instead had another man fall in love with her (also via enchantment) and raise Shade as his own.

Events come to pass where she’s told of her heritage, her powers, and she’s sent on a quest and is being escorted by many of the fairy kind on her journey. It’s not supposed to be an easy quest, and the fairies are divided on how they feel about her. Some of them embrace her openly, while others are hostile.

One of them, Darron, attempted to kill her and as a punishment, the Queen sentences him to death. His brother, Dillian begs the Queen to spare his brothers life, and she agrees but says that a debt is still owed to Shade. As punishment, Dillian has to agree to a blood bond with Shade which effectively turns him into her slave. He can’t leave her side, his legs will literally freeze to the ground if he tries to run, he also feels compelled to make her happy and has a light telepathic link with her and can sense discomfort. He accompanies her along the way and helps defend her against more than a few attackers who want her to fail in her mission.

Final Score: 5.5/10


Shade: she starts out as a ‘normal teenage girl’ in high school who is a few weeks from graduating. She gets roped into something larger than life and isn’t dealing with it well. She’s completely unprepared to be trekking through fairy woods and encountering things and people who want her dead. She cries a lot, and is totally overwhelmed by what’s happened. As the book goes on she gets a little more confident and a little more autonomous rather than relying on her group to help her out.

Final Score: 5.5/10

World Building;

  • The fairies live on this world, but their lands are guarded by wards and other things making it invisible to us – as a consequence, their maps look very different and humans only see a small portion of the ‘real world’.
  • Fairies can live indefinitely, but most don’t. Dillians mother was 500 something when she decided she didn’t want to continue living. She went from a healthy living woman to dust in just a few days of deciding to let go.
  • Talen are a kind of fairy and without their glamour that makes them look human, a single touch from them can kill. The glamour also works like a shield making it safe for them to interact with mortals. However, because so few girls are born their numbers are dwindling. They can’t have children with mortals because of the lethal interaction between the two. The only exception would be changelings who can change into Talen form.
  • The magic is very ‘mysterious’ and definitely not a structured magic system. Shade is just learning how to use her magic since she wasn’t given any kind of formal training. One of the first things she learns how to make is a glow stone, which is just a tiny rock she pushed energy/magic into to make it glow and be warm. There are random things like healing potions, fire magic, lightning magic etc.

Final Score: 6.5/10 


This is a YA adventurous kind of book, there wasn’t a lot of blood or gore or violence despite the title of ‘dark fairytale’.

The pacing was okay, it was a typical person on a quest kind of book where they encounter things along the way to their final destination, it kept things going at a medium pace.

I had some problems with the dialogue, things like “I have more magic in my finger than you do in your whole body” is a line I’ve heard in movies, tv, and books – and there were a few instances like that.

Pacing Final Score: 7/10

Writing Final Score: 6/10 


I think a young kid learning they’re special and going on a quest or having a special task to perform is one of the most common things I’ve read this year in the YA genre. There were a few things in here that were original or new to me, but most of it is something I’ve read before.

Final Score: 5.5/10 


  • For people who like quest fantasy
  • For people who like portal fantasy
  • For people who like fairies
  • For people who like female POV
  • For people who like YA
  • For people who like shorter stories

Final Score: 36/60 or 6/10

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