A faerie tale with dazzling descriptions and an array of abundantly charming characters . . .
What I Loved /// R.L. Haas had my mouth watering at sumptuous lasagna, Each Uisce, and a Dreadlocked Faerie King. The strongest weapon in her arsenal by far are her breath-taking proseful descriptions, from showing us ugliness in the human world (Derrick, anyone?) to battling iron clawed Fae armies of old, to the sensuous breaking of bread between a woman and a Fae King, which to myself seemingly paralleled a woman and her lord coming into an intimate sacred communion with one another. I loved every morsel of adventure, truly. I also found it exceedingly easy to leave the real world behind in favor of joining the Alonthielien realm, alongside Naya - a young woman who lives in utter chaos after the death of her mother - and an equally charming cast of four-factioned fae characters. M'lad Harris has an exceedingly special place in my Irish and fae-loving heart, too, as he is an insanely loving, jovial, and charming individual with a flare for fashion, and oddity, that would rival Alice In Wonderland's the Mad Hatter, if I dare to say so. Watching Naya release the chains of her past that had bound her for so long throughout the novel, in favor of boldly staking claim of her own freedom and the fire within her, was a thing of beauty to behold. Irena is the fae-princess best friend that everybody wants in their life, and Tian - strong, valient, quiet, poetic, Fae King Tian. Sigh. As you can see my love for these characters runs deep.
And that ending. I'll zip my lips, but I'll confess that I nearly screamed.
What I Didn't Love /// *Trigger Abuse Warning* There are a few scenes in the first half of the book that honestly made me squirm a bit due to the abuse that Naya experiences. There is cursing throughout this faerie tale, as well, which may prove to be a turn off for some readers, however, I was not offended by the cursing. I did notice a few grammatical and punctuation errors as I read through the book - not enough to make me stop reading it, but they were distracting on occasion.
My Overall Thoughts? 4.5 stars! I absolutely loved the fae world that R.L. Haas has created in Portals, as it is one where you start to see the characters slowly start to break their mundane molds, in favor of finding the fire within themselves to face off against the rising malevolent force, which shall remain nameless. I'm definitely looking forward to the next installment in the Portals Trilogy! If you love books by Maggie Stiefvater and Cassandra Clare and Madeleine L'Engle then you'll fall for this book!
R. L. Haas is one of the wild ones, writing Faerie stories from her little self-declared cottage surrounded by Midwestern cornfields and never enough coffee. Her non-fiction work has appeared in such online publications as SheLoves Magazine and Literary Orphans. She lives with her beloved husband and equally wild daughter, along with their oversized Great Dane. They are ruled over by two fluffy cats. She blogs about her faith, her heart, and her ever-growing literary obsessions at http://dramaticelegance.blogspot.com