Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater

Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater
Series: Regency Faerie Tales #1
Published by Orbit on April 5, 2022
Genres: Fae, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble// BookBub
Add to: Goodreads // StoryGraph

It's difficult to find a husband in Regency England when you're a young lady with only half a soul.
Ever since she was cursed by a faerie, Theodora Ettings has had no sense of fear or embarrassment - a condition which makes her prone to accidental scandal. Dora hopes to be a quiet, sensible wallflower during the London Season - but when the strange, handsome and utterly uncouth Lord Sorcier discovers her condition, she is instead drawn into dangerous and peculiar faerie affairs.
If Dora's reputation can survive both her curse and her sudden connection with the least-liked man in all of high society, then she may yet reclaim her normal place in the world. . . but the longer Dora spends with Elias Wilder, the more she begins to suspect that one may indeed fall in love, even with only half a soul.
Bridgerton meets Howl's Moving Castle in this enchanting historical fantasy, where the only thing more meddlesome than faeries is a marriage-minded mother.
Pick up HALF A SOUL, and be stolen away into Olivia Atwater's charming, magical version of Regency England!


January was my friend’s month to suggest a book for our monthly buddy reads. She suggested Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater and it was a super cute read! Characters were charming and the plot interesting enough to not play second fiddle to the romance.

Despite having faerie and magic involved, this absolutely reads like a regency romance first and foremost. Balls and dancing and matchmaking is where Half a Soul thrives, along with the repressed emotions hidden beneath the surface. Dora, our female protagonist that absolutely feels autistic coded, had half of her soul stolen by a fae. Thanks to this, she cannot feel things as deeply as she thinks she should. She also has difficulty navigating social cues and mores. Despite what others consider shortcomings, Dora is doing just well for herself. She loves her cousin and her life, as much as she is able to. It was super refreshing to see a female character that was detached but not cold. Dora’s cousin, Vanessa, is her biggest supporter and fan. She orchestrates so much just in the hopes of giving Dora a “full” life, but doesn’t want to change her so she can fit into society. Vanessa just wants Dora to be happy and well. Again, super refreshing and lovely.

Our male protagonist, Elias, is almost the opposite of Dora. He is full of emotion but forces everything down and away. He works hard to keep the façade of being a cold, uncouth man, just as hard as Dora tries to pretend to be a charming, neurotypical woman. Elias’ main counterpart is Albert, a wealthy youngest son that just wants to do good, be good. He understands Elias better than most and works hard at keeping him from completely falling out with society.

I think the characters are truly where Half a Soul soared. They were fantastic. The first half of the book was fantastic. It built these characters up, their relationships to one another, the tension of wondering who will end up with whom and how. Then, things begin to fall apart towards the latter half. It truly was a shame. I think the author tried to do too much and tie up too many loose ends with not enough book left. I don’t think this should have been longer, but I also don’t know if we needed all of the different plots points we got. Everything seemed to spiral at the end and we were just hit with action point, action point, action point, just to be left unsatisfied with a certain part that REALLY should not have happened off screen. I think if the off screen portion hadn’t been hidden, or if the side plot was better paced, this definitely could have been rated higher. I’m also sad with how one of the pairings ended up as I really wished they would’ve ended up being the main character for the second in the series.

Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater is a very sweet and charming regency romance with just a bit of fantasy involved. The ending was satisfying, despite the small bumps it took to get there. I definitely think this would be a great read for young adult, and clean romance readers, especially those that love historical/regency period pieces.


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