Aislinn – it’s pronounced Ashlyn – has always seen faeries, like her mother and grandmother; she has always known the rules for dealing with faeries. Don’t. Don’t let them know that you notice them. Don’t have anything to do with them. She lives in an industrial city full of cold iron and has a best-friend-guy who lives in two abandoned train cars. However, when the Summer King starts stalking her, thinking that she could be the Summer Queen who’ll break the bindings on his power, following those rules suddenly gets a lot more complicated.
Gosh, I liked this one. It’s the kind of urban fantasy that’s fluffy comfort reading, and maybe doesn’t work at a level above fluffy comfort reading, but it does what it does really well and doesn’t make me want to hit the author over the head with some Betty Friedan. (The author has taught gender studies at the university level, so that’s not so surprising!) It manages to be awesomely romantic while sidestepping all of the dumb cliches, and Aislinn is bold and smart and self-sufficient, and she’s able to take on all the frightening things she has to take on with –not recklessness, but hard-nosed common sense. And I really enjoyed the politics of the faerie court – they were interesting without being tangled and complicated. (Tangled and complicated is good, but simple done well is good too.)
The ending was perfect; I wonder if it wasn’t maybe a bit TOO perfect, but still. It’s a really fast-paced book, almost all plot, and I sort of wish that it had taken more time to explore Aislinn’s life in non-faery-related aspects… basically, though, this is the kind of book that I wish Twilight had been.