May 15, 2023

REVIEW The Fae Queen's Captive (Peculiar Tastes #6) by Sierra Simone

The Fae Queen's Captive (Peculiar Tastes #6) by Sierra Simone
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Release Date: October 4, 2022
Format: eBook (Kickstarter)
Publisher: Bonkers Romance 

Sierra Simone’s The Fae Queen’s Captive, the sixth and final book in the Peculiar Tastes series, was another stellar installment to the Shadow Market universe. If you enjoy paranormal romances with heavy fae influences, a sapphic love story, and unique worldbuilding then I think you should check this book out. 

By day, Janneth Carter is an archaeologist working on another dig site in Scotland and finishing her graduate degree. However, despite her seemingly fulfilling job and life, she’s always wanted more. On Samhain, after investigating mysterious strangers at their dig site, she finds out she may have bitten off more than she can chew as she’s whisked away to the Faerie realm and to the court of the illustrious Stag Queen.

I was expecting this book to be much more like the others in the series; a paranormal romance full of explicit sex scenes with action that progresses very quickly from the first page to the last. However, despite there being no shortage of sexual counters (faeries in the Stag Court love their orgies), I was surprised to see that there’s also a sense of explored vulnerability. Janneth has always been told that her wants were wrong or made to feel lesser by those she’s been intimate with. The Stag Queen Morgana has taken up the heavy burden of being queen after the recent passing of her mother, and if you’ve seen the artwork released for the Kickstarter you’ll know that she has a very obvious physical vulnerability. Janneth and Morgana’s relationship delves into these issues, with it overall being very body positive and emotionally tender. The ending of the book was fairly predictable after reading the other stories in the series (especially The Death God’s Sacrifice), but I appreciated it nonetheless (and wasn’t too bothered by the predictability)

Ms. Simone went for it with all of the faerie references in building the world within her book, and I was practically giddy while reading because of it. I liked seeing hints of the different courts within the Faerie realms and the references to the Faerie tradition of stealing mortals and keeping them as playthings; both children and adults. I was also quite impressed to see the references to mortal interpretations of faerie stories that she included (which helped tie in Janneth’s profession to the story). 

There is shared worldbuilding between the different Peculiar Tastes/Shadow Market books, but there is little to no crossover between characters. I did enjoy the tiny Easter Egg-esque nods to the other books. For example, the druid who raises the veil every year so the Shadow Market can happen is a common reference in the book (a nod to The Death God’s Sacrifice). There are also some moments in the book that seem to reference characters from The Captive Merman’s Promise and The Demon’s Bargain

Overall, The Fae Queen’s Captive was another short enjoyable paranormal romance/fantasy tale. It didn’t quite have the plot twists that some of the other books had, and I’m still saddened by the fact that all the books in the series are so short, but it was an entertaining read nonetheless. I’m so excited that the Shadow Market books have introduced me to some new authors I’ve never heard of before (I was previously only familiar with Katee Robert), and it makes me excited to check out Sierra Simone’s back-list as well as the upcoming Dangerous Tides kickstart in the near future. 

CONTENT WARNINGS (Courtesy of Author): Violence, Murder (of Baddies), Blood, Explicit Sex, Hunting, Intoxication, Uneven Power Dynamics

About the Book

Save some of your screams for the queen, there’s a good girl…

Janneth Carter has given up on magic these days. She’s done being curious, insatiable, dreamy; she just wants to finish her graduate degree and spend the rest of her life as a sensible archeologist. So the last thing she expects when she goes to her dig site on Halloween night is three mysterious strangers standing outside an ancient Scottish grave.

Okay, well the actual last thing she expects is for those strangers to kidnap her and drag her into fairyland.

Once in the vivid, carnal world of Faerie, Janneth is at the mercy of the coldly lovely and incredibly cruel Stag Queen. Desperate to get home to her own world, she offers the Queen a bargain: she’ll be a willing captive, the queen’s pet, so long as the Queen promises to keep her safe until Janneth leaves Faerie.

But fae promises are complicated things, and nothing in Faerie, even pleasure—even love—comes without a price…

About the Author

Sierra is a voracious reader of all things including the smuttiest smut, young adult, piles of non-fiction for research, and everything Bill Bryson (especially on audio).

She loves writing the dirtiest things that she can think of, King Arthur, sparkling water, Tarot, coffee, leggings, and learning new words daily. 

Her previous jobs have included firing ceramics, teaching living history lessons in one-room school house in full, 1904-approved school marm attire, and working as a librarian for several years—not in that order

She lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, two children, and two giant dogs. (And two cats, but they're so naughty we don't talk about them.) 

Her novels have been published in Czech, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, and Romanian. She's been featured in Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, Marie Claire, and Library Journal with a starred review.

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