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PRINCE OF FOXES by H. L. Macfarlane | Book Review

Join us as we discover the many ways to use the word ‘burn’!

No, this isn’t a how-to guide, rather a twist of folklore that slips through the fingers like a Scottish stream. We can’t all live on the shores of Loch Lomond, but thankfully, one who does, H. L. Macfarlane, wrote the utterly brilliant Prince of Foxes to sate our appetites.

“So they disappeared, in one fashion or another, and they only had themselves to blame. They had been warned, after all, and they didn’t listen.”
– Sorcha, Prince of Foxes

Taking us to the water’s edge was easy with Macfarlane’s smooth, rhythmic pace. She unfolds for us the ways of the lore first—the power of a name—the bindings and enchantments that lurk beneath the trees. She spears that against the press of outsiders, the slow trickle of development into peaceful, magical glens—until the tourists outnumber the locals—the concerns for everyone’s way of life outnumbering both.

“Her father was a smart man. He had raised a clever daughter. Sorcha would not be caught by a faerie so easily.”
– Sorcha, Prince of Foxes

Sorcha was born to the loch. Her family shore up the land’s traditions. She sways with the trees and sings for each rock. So what happens if she is pursued by the faeries? Perhaps even, their prince? We follow this enigmatic character on her quest to save everything that matters, including herself.

“The advancements made in human medicine, and human technology, meant that humans were beginning to forget what it felt like to fear ‘otherness’.”
– Lachlan, Prince of Foxes

Lachlan knows just how to deal with humans. Take what you wish, make pets of the best. The Seelie Court has its own traditions for the Crown Prince to follow, but why even entertain those notions when you’ve lived hundreds of years and can enchant your way from throne room to bedroom? We long to whack this entitled lad around the ear, even if Sorcha does a bang up job to begin with. We smile in turmoil as her cunning experience shields her soul—at least until Lachlan finds a new angle entirely.

In the ways of love and war, their struggles are beautifully scripted. Tension, heartache, pain, and fear. Macfarlane lets us walk with both of these characters as we unwind the truth. Between Sorcha’s spontaneous instincts and the fae’s perverted intentions, this story takes us from myth to legend, scattering their facets across fresh new forests.

“The feeling of singing to him was achingly nostalgic, as if she truly was sitting upon the loch-side watching the sun set across the water.”
– Sorcha, Prince of Foxes

Once I fell into the ebb and flow of these words, I couldn’t stop. Sorcha provided that sass and uncertainty that builds instant fondness, Lachlan the swift fall from grace we all needed to befriend him. Together, their relationship is the slow burn to keep the plot pulling. There’s others; political, family, responsibility to heath and hearth, the unknown gentleman, the lost love. It all spins a delicate web we are happy to be ensnared by.

Keep this one on your bedside table for some heart restoration. Recommend it to all of your friends who need the thrum of deep magic in their bones. I cannot wait to read the next two installments of this tale! I just hope you’ll join me in celebrating the Scottish use of ‘burn’ from here on out.

By the burn, Hearties!

Riv Rains, Steampunk YA author's signature
Star Rating: 5!

Prince of Foxes: A Gothic Scottish Fairy Tale is available at my favourite online indie bookstore, Booktopia, HERE!

Find this series and others from this author on Amazon HERE!

More gorgeous Scottish works at

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Riv Rains

Riv Rains is an author of steampunk, YA, dark fantasy, and creator of far too many things. Many more of her projects would be finished if she wasn't also captain and chief for two kids and a husband. If you know how to clone her, she would appreciate hearing from you. If not, while slightly crestfallen, she welcomes you to continue perusing the spawn of her tumultuous mind.

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