I love reading everything from fantasy to historical romances. On a constant quest for more books to read.
Sophy Landon lives in the little village Tilby.where her father is the reverend.He spends most of the time since her mother died eating and only occassionally remembering he has a daughter.
The opinion of the villagers is that he is slowly eating himself to a bad end,along with whats left of his money. Its not like his daughter will recieve any proposals of marriage when things are as they are.
Shes plain and quite bad at housekeeping and cooking and with no fortune to speak of its likely she will remain a spinster. But Sophy does has a something she is good at - her needlework is excellent and she uses this talent to make nice things for her friends be they fey or human.
Her friend the bridge troll Balli decides its not right a fine woman like Sophy should be without suitors and hatches a scheme to send her and her brownie friend Thundigle off to the faerie realm and the Town of Greenlow.
She is amazed by everything she sees there and when she is suddenly bumped into a wall by a man chasing a large cat she rushes after the two of them wanting an excuse but also because she is curious.
The man is an Ayilry (elf I guess) who introduces himself as Aubranael and is a bit peculiar but charming so she accepts his excuse with pleasure.But she recieves a shock when the cat knocks off the large obscuring hat he wears and reveals his face wich is heavily scarred.
This temporarily catches her off guard and Aubranael is ashamed.
His expression changed as hers did. All his sunny merriment drained away, and he looked stricken.
‘Apologies,’ he said quietly, bowing his head to hide his face, once more, behind his hair. ‘I should not have asked; now I have made you uncomfortable.’ He spoke without a trace of bitterness or resentment, or even self-pity, and he made no attempt to chastise the cat.
His apology seemed sincere, and Sophy cursed herself for her reaction. What could it possibly matter, when he was such congenial company? ‘In England,’ she said, summoning back her smile, ‘it is considered
impolite to withdraw an invitation once given, especially to a lady. Here I had taken you for a gentleman!’ Aubranael studied her for a moment, perhaps weighing the sincerity of her words. At last, his smile returned; faint, but growing stronger. ‘And you, Miss Landon of Tilby, are every inch a lady, I am sure,’ he said. He offered her his arm,
So they go off and have a pleasant time together but in the she has to leave even if she secretly wish she could stay just a little bit longer.Likewise Aubranael cant stop thinking of her but how could anyone want someone with a face like his. There is a prejudice in the faerie world against ugliness
Dejected he wanders around with Felebere the Purple cat
She leads him through the forest until they come to the home of Hidenory who first appears as an old crone but turns into a Young Beautiful woman. She tells him her speciality is in glamours.
He strikes a deal with Hidenory who gives him a beautiful unscarred face and sends him off to the mortal World to her associate Grunewald or as he is known there -Frederick Green and after a makeover Aubranael is renamed Aubrey Stanton and the two set off for Tilby.
He will have one month to Court Sopy in his magical disguise as Mr Stanton but with his new persona he finds that his marked attentions to her drives her away and people ridicule his interest in her.
‘I have never seen a woman so absolutely without countenance!’ he declared. ‘And not a penny to her name, either! I must say, you do have the most extraordinary taste.’
But nothing go as planned.
While reading this book I found myself smiling several times throughout.
The setting is regency era but an alternative one where there are brownies in every house and no one is suprised to see a bridge troll. Scared maybe but certainly not surprised.
A book like this could have come across as overly cutesy but I would describe the story as sweet, not saccharine and with just enough of the ugliness of the world in it to make it interesting.There was also some subtle humor in the writing style wich I appreciated very much.
This book further has charming illustrations but with a different style from the cover.
I found Aubranael in Aylfenham a delight it was a bit diminished when he was pretending to be Mr Stanton in Tilby probably because he was pretending to be someone else than he truly was.
When he is not pretending Aubranael is bit naive and earnest while Sophy is more levelheaded. I found myself thinking that this books Sophy was a little bit like Sophy from Howls moving castle.
Aubranael and Sophy doesnt spend much significant time together romantically but you dont find it hard to believe that do have a chance at love with each other in the end.
It is like a fairytale,you dont question the why and hows of a fairytale. It is just so.
Mix together the regency era,elves,Howls moving castle and Alice in wonderland what you get is "Miss Landon and Aubranael"
Its author promises there will be more tales from Aylfenham in the future and I know I want more. Its the perfect read for a day when you need cheering up. :)