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Sirensong Paperback – July 5, 2011
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About the Author
JENNA BLACK graduated from Duke University with degrees in anthropology and French. A full-time writer of paranormal romance and urban fantasy, she lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
I hate politics. Too bad my father is a big-deal Fae politician, hoping to get bigger. Also too bad that I’d run away from home to escape my alcoholic mother and live with my father in hopes of a more normal life, because what I’d gotten was a heaping helping of anything-but-normal, with a side order of mortal danger. Which is how I found myself dressed in an insanely expensive midnight-blue evening dress—wearing heels, no less—and being escorted by my tux-clad father to a fancy state dinner I wanted no part of.
The dinner was at the Consul’s mansion. My dad and I joined the glittering cream of Avalon high society, waiting in line between the velvet ropes as a pair of Knights controlled traffic and checked invitations. I’d never been to an event anywhere near as formal as this before, and I wouldn’t have been at this one if my dad hadn’t insisted.
When I came to Avalon, the only place where the mortal world and Faerie intersect, I already knew my father was some kind of big-deal Fae. What I didn’t know was all the zillions of ways his status would affect my life. Or that he would try to use me as a pawn in his political chess game. You see, in a little more than a year, the current human Consul—the most powerful person in Avalon, kind of like a president, but not really—was going to have to step down in favor of a Fae. The Consulship changes hands between humans and Fae every ten years, and my dad was bound and determined to be the next Consul of Avalon.
Another thing I’d had no clue about before I’d blundered into Avalon was that every once in a while, when a really powerful Fae—like, say, my father—had a child with a human, that child was … special. A Faeriewalker, someone with enough Fae blood to travel into Faerie and enough mortal blood to travel into the mortal world. But here’s the kicker: not only can Faeriewalkers travel freely in both worlds, they can bring magic into the mortal world and technology into Faerie.
Yup, you guessed it: I’m a Faeriewalker. A rare breed, seeing as the last one before me died almost a century ago. And because of my unique abilities, I became a political asset, which was why my dad was dragging me along to this event when I’d have preferred to stay home and scrounge something from the fridge. Everyone in freakin’ Avalon knew about me, knew I was a Faeriewalker, but Dad had to trot me out to the dinner and show me off, remind everyone that I was his daughter and that if he became Consul, he’d use me to Avalon’s advantage. Never mind that I wasn’t going to let him “use” me for anything, and he knew it.
“Try not to scowl quite so fiercely, Dana,” he said to me in a dry undertone as we inched toward the head of the line.
I tried to wipe the scowl from my face, though I’m not sure I succeeded. “You are going to owe me for this big-time,” I muttered, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw his lips curve into a faint smile.
“Maybe you’ll enjoy yourself,” he suggested, handing his invitation to the Knight with the clipboard.
Knights are Fae warriors, and there was something just wrong about seeing one standing there with a clipboard. Of course, he probably had about a hundred weapons concealed on him, and I could feel the prickly sensation of magic surrounding him. Supposedly only true Fae could sense magic, but I was apparently the exception. Because being a garden-variety Faeriewalker didn’t make me freakish enough. I’d managed to keep my affinity with magic hidden from almost everyone—even my father—so far, and I planned to keep it that way.
The Knight waved us through, and we climbed a set of red-carpeted stairs into a cavernous marble entryway. There were more Knights inside, directing the crowd down a long hallway and making sure no one strayed from the path. They were dressed in tuxes, just like all the other men in the crowd, but they stuck out like sore thumbs anyway, with their muscular builds, their severe expressions, and their not-so-covert surveillance.
“Yeah, this is going to be tons of fun,” I mumbled, keeping my voice low so it wouldn’t echo off the marble. I didn’t need any prior experience with state dinners to guess it was going to include a lot of long, boring speeches. And that Dad was going to introduce me to a lot of people with whom I was supposed to make polite small talk and smile. Just how any sixteen-year-old likes to spend the evening, right?
I could, of course, be a total brat and play the part of the sullen, bored teenager, making my dad regret dragging me along. But he and I were still sort of learning our way around each other, and if I was going to be difficult about something, it would be something more important than whether or not I had to sit through a bunch of speeches.
At the end of the hallway, we had to stand in line again, but this was worse, because I could see—and hear—what was in store for us when we got to the head of the line. There was a tall, thin Fae man standing there, and everyone stopped when they stepped up beside him, then waited for him to announce their names in a loud, deep voice, after which they could finally enter the room and go through an endless-looking receiving line.
Groan! If it took this much time and effort to even get in, I didn’t want to know how long the dinner was going to take. I wondered if I could convince Dad I’d suddenly developed a migraine, or the flu. Maybe Ebola.
“You’re scowling again,” Dad whispered, and I gave him a dirty look.
“This counts as cruel and unusual punishment,” I told him. “And I haven’t even done anything wrong.” The bratty, sullen teenager idea was beginning to hold a certain appeal. Maybe I could embarrass my dad enough to make him send me home.
Dad sighed, but we’d reached the head of the line so he made no comeback. We stood on the landing right outside an honest-to-goodness ballroom, and I was painfully aware that even though we hadn’t been announced yet, and even though there was a lovely Fae woman currently making her way through the receiving line, practically all eyes in the room were on us. My palms felt clammy, and I hoped my face wasn’t flushed with embarrassment.
“Seamus Stuart,” the gatekeeper, or whatever you call him, intoned, and anyone who hadn’t already been looking at us turned their heads in our direction. “And Dana Stuart,” the gatekeeper finished, and I had to clench my teeth to resist the urge to correct him.
I could count the weeks I’d known my dad on one hand, and I’d always gone by my mother’s name, Hathaway. Guess my dad had “forgotten” that when he had me added to the guest list. If it weren’t for our audience, I’d have ripped into him on the spot. Instead, I plastered on the world’s fakest smile and promised myself a good temper tantrum later.
* * *
The next forty-five minutes were about as much fun as sitting in the dentist’s chair. Each time my dad ran into someone he knew—and I swear he knew every person in the room—it was the same thing. They’d exchange some stupid small talk, Dad would introduce me, and then they’d start talking politics.
The high heels were pinching my toes, and I was losing sensation in the balls of my feet as we continued our circuit of the room. My face hurt from the fake-smiling, and I was so bored I had to swallow a yawn every three seconds. And we weren’t even to the speeches yet!
Throughout the torturous meet-and-greet, more people kept arriving at the party, each one announced in a voice that cut through all the chatter. At first, I couldn’t help looking every time someone new came in, but since it was never anyone interesting, I stopped paying attention. Until a wave of silence swept over the room, and even my dad turned to look.
The party had been under way for over an hour, and the Important Dignitaries in the receiving line had abandoned their posts to come mingle with us little people, so there was no line waiting to come in. As a result, everyone in the room had a crystal-clear view of the figure who stood regally in the doorway. I immediately suspected he’d planned things that way.
In some ways, he was a typical Fae man. Tall, lean, with angular features that were painfully beautiful. And yet, he was like no Fae I’d seen before. He was dressed in an outfit that looked like it came straight out of some artsy historical movie, complete with a crimson velvet coat with enormous cuffs and elaborately embroidered lapels, knee breeches, and a frothy white neckcloth. Crimson wasn’t a good color for him, not with his typical Fae pallor and the long red hair that framed his face under a thin gold circlet, but his lack of fashion sense didn’t make him any less breathtaking.
“His Royal Highness, Henry, Prince of the Seelie Court,” the announcer said into the silence that had overtaken the room.
Many of the Fae bowed or curtsied. I glanced at my dad out of the corner of my eye and saw that he didn’t, even though he was a card-carrying member of the Seelie Court. Avalon had seceded from Faerie about a hundred years ago, and in theory, its Fae citizens weren’t supposed to belong to either the Seelie or the Unseelie Court. In reality, there were very few Fae in Avalon who didn’t align themselves with one Court or the other.
Prince Henry soaked in the attention for a moment, standing nearly motionless in the entryway as his gaze swept the room. My stomach did a flip-flop when the prince’s eyes stopped on my father’s face, then slid to me. A smile curled his lips, and there was something oily and unpleasant about it. I took an instant dislike to him and didn’t...
Top Customer Reviews
Don't expect the same amount of sexy time as in the previous books. There are a few scenes that still push the YA boundary, but they are significantly lighter and less frequent in SIRENSONG. That's not to say Dana doesn't think about sex a lot, she does, but it's in the context of knowing she will never have it and whether or not Ethan will stick around without it. I wish Dana had had more self respect to realize that if Ethan wouldn't stay without sex then she doesn't need to waste her time. In that sense, she took a step back from the strength and intelligence I admired in her previously.
My biggest disappointment with SIRENSONG is the fact that it is the unintentional swan song for the series (Jenna has confirmed that SIRENSONG is the final Faeriewalker book). It is very clearly not written as the final book since many of the extremely compelling storylines threading through the previous books are left hanging. Is the Erlking secretly not as bad as he pretends?Read more ›
I like Jenna Black's writing style. It is easy to read, yet full of visuals and character development. The reactions of the characters are appropriate, and the language fits how a teenager would speak. The book is very easy to follow, as are her other books in this series.
The only warning I would have, if you are concerned, is that there is a lot of talk of sex before marriage. There are a few cuss words, but nothing extreme. If you have a younger teen, this might be a worry for you. Sex is a central theme throughout the majority of this book.
I gave this 3 stars because the book drug so slowly for the first half. I also thought it felt a bit flat in some parts. I didn't think the ending completely tied up the series, and it left it open for a 4th book, in my opinion. I had to check Jenna's website to see if she was going to write a 4th book. However, it appears that this is the last book.
"Sirensong" was another great entry. I was upset to just learn that this is the last expected book in the series. The biggest plot threads were wrapped up in this installment. We see things come to head with the Queens of the Seelie and Unseelie courts who both wouldn't mind having Dana's head on a platter. Dana and Ethan are both tied to the Erlking by the marks he inflicted upon them. In this book, Dana has been summoned by Queen Tatiana for a meeting and an introduction to the court. The group is weary as they know the Queen finds Dana to be a threat, but to not show up would bring even worse danger upon them. So Dana, her father, her best friend Kimber,her boyfried Ehtan, her bodyguard Finn and Finn's son Keane embark on the long trip to the Queen's palace. Unfortunately their escort is Tatiana's son Henry and his knights and servants. Of course I don't want to give anything away but lets just say that the trip is not a smooth and easy one. Adventures happen. It is quickly apparent that there is someone among them that can't be trusted.
The book had a different feel then the first two because the book is 90% about them traveling. In one way or another Dana is traveling through the forests or through the roads of Fairie. That isn't totally a bad thing because its nice to mix things up to keep a book fresh but it was different.Read more ›
Sirensong by Jenna Black is the third and finale book in the Faeriewalker series. This one follows as Dana enters the Faerie world because she's summoned by the Seelie Queen. While her and her friends do have a few problems along the way, it's nothing compared to what awaits them at the Seelie court. Dana is accused of murdering Titania's granddaughter.
It was nice to see into the Faerie world and finally go there and all, but this story seemed... well, lacking.
The first half of this book involves preparing for traveling into the Faerie world and the start of traveling through the Faerie world. While I don't mind it when there is traveling, it's kind of dull to have half the book all about travel. Though, when you look at it, it doesn't seem like it's half the book. Anyways, while they're traveling with the Prince, they come under attack by these random creatures. Come to save the day is the "sexy Erlking".
Which by the way, is annoying how EVERYONE is described as sexy, hot, handsome or something along those lines. How good they look, how hot they are, how gorgeous they look, how their outfit makes them look so sexy, etc. Got it, they look hot. No need to drill it into our heads. I think I would have remembered that from the first book when you mentioned it every page. Just saying.
When they arrive at Queen Titania's palace, they met up with her granddaughter for a dinner. After her and Dana talk for a bit, they go to sit down to eat. Only problem is that a bomb goes off and kills Titania's granddaughter. A bomb means one thing: a faeriewalker brought it in. So now Dana has to run with her friends because it doesn't look like she'll survive much longer where she is.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The series kept me going, being a lover of fantasy, magic, suspense and love...Published 3 months ago by leisa swanson
I was prepared to fall in love with this series and for the most part, I really enjoyed it. I liked the main character and most of the supporting cast, but I was disappointed with... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Melanie Nichols
I've borrowed this book many times from the library to re read after the 8 th time I decided to break down and buy my own copy. I couldn't be happier!Published 16 months ago by Katherine Wehmann
I am always looking for a new series to dive into. And I have a lot of expectations. The series starts off slow, but it get better with book two. Read morePublished on June 24, 2014 by Tracy Cobb
It's been a while since i read this book, I'm not suite sure why my review was never posted back in 2012 when I first read the book. .. Read morePublished on February 9, 2014 by Shona Booky Ramblings Lawrence
I read the entire Faeriewalker series and I can honestly say it's a book that I would never ever regret reading.Published on January 26, 2014 by Kindle Customer
When you are a Faeriewalker, like Dana, the reason for the invitation to the court is questionable.They were promised safe passage and an escort, being Prince Henry himself and his... Read morePublished on November 18, 2013 by Serenity