Monday, 28 June 2021

Bookish Thoughts: To Kill A Fae, To Kill A King and To Kill The Dead by CS Wilde (Hollowcliff Detectives books 1-3)

The Hollowcliffe Detectives series is classed as Urban Fantasy but it is set in a fictitious world quite unlike our own so it's heavy on the fantasy and light on magical realism. 
This isn't a problem for me but it may be for others who want the things that go bump in the night to be mingling with a facsimile of the world as we know it. 

The series has a range of beasties with the major players being Fae, Sirens, Lycans, Witches and Vampires. Humans exist but are not the focus of the series.

The world-building is pretty light but the author gives you enough throughout the course of the books to satisfy. It's safe to say though that the series is very character-driven and if you don't care about Mera or Bast, you'll probably struggle.

The books build on each other so this is definitely a series you need to read from the beginning (and in order) otherwise there is no point.

Book One: To Kill A Fae

Fae enjoy playing dangerous games.

In detective Mera Maurea’s experience, three things motivated a murder: secrets, convenience, or passion. But none of the three can explain why the Summer King is dead.

With a tight deadline hanging over her head, Mera has to figure out who’s the culprit before the frail balance that holds the nation of Tagrad together crumbles into dust.
To aid her—or turn her life into a living hell, hard to tell which—is her fae partner Sebastian Dhay, a snarky detective with a penchant for the illegal. He’s a volatile wild card who will do anything to solve the murder, even if it means his doom.
The clock is ticking. And Mera is hiding a deadly secret of her own.

My Thoughts: 
Book one sets the scene and introduces you to Bast and Mera when they are forced to work together (at the expense of Mera's long-term police partner Julian) to solve a human/Fae murder. 

I liked that Mera was a Waterbreaker/Siren as I haven't read too many books featuring Sirens as a lead character. Her powers were interesting, she was a strong woman who got the job done and was fierce without being an annoyance. Her childhood was brutal and it was easy to see how it shaped the woman she grew to be. 

I loved Sebastian's character. In a word, he was yummy! I adored his sarcastic self and how he gelled with Mera despite her reservations. The slow-burning romance between the two was delicious! Definitely more than meets the eye with this guy and this pairing... Although, I really hope there isn't a love-triangle looming on the horizon with Mera, Bast and Julian. That would get on my nerves.

The pace of the story was good and I didn't guess the outcome of the case so that was a win!

All in all, definitely worth a read if you like UF/F reads and are looking for something new.

Book Two: To Kill A King by CS Wilde

The Night King is dead, and his killer is on the loose.
When Mera Maurea goes to Lunor Insul to investigate the Night King’s murder, she knows bringing her partner Sebastian Dhay is a mistake, mostly because he’s the victim’s freaking son.

Things would be a lot easier if Bast’s relationship with his four brothers wasn’t so… explosive. As the culprit keeps attacking the Night Court, Mera and Bast will have to catch him before all remaining Dhays are dead.

Everything is connected, and solving this case might just bring Mera closer to Poseidon.

My Thoughts:
Book two picks up not long after the end of the first book in the series. Mera and Bast are now officially permanent partners - in the detective sense - and have become poster-children for interborough/species collaboration.

Being the dream-team, it shouldn't be a surprise that they're asked to work a case involving the death of the Night King but, given that the King was Sebastian's father, it is.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The Night Kingdom's island of Lunar Insul was fascinating. Bast's family dynamic was gripping. From liked brothers to hated brothers and everything in between... It kept you on your toes and kept you guessing as Bast and Mera worked to solve the mystery of his father's death! We learned so much about his history and what made him walk away and become a cop... It was awesome. We also learned more about Mera and "the plot thickens" regarding her history and the Waterbreakers. 

The romance between Mera and Bast heats up and starts to take on a "fated mates" vibe which I'm not at all opposed to but I did find it weird how Julian (her former cop-partner and object of romantic interest) disappeared off the face of the earth in this book...

Book two as a whole was a faster-paced, more emotional, and interesting read than book one. I inhaled it in under a day and was constantly curious about what came next. It left me super excited for book three!

Book Three: To Kill the Dead by CS Wilde

All terrible things come in two.

Mera never imagined she would have to face a necromancer without Bast, her fae partner, but the Captain decided to separate them on a whim - or so she thinks.

Running against the clock to avoid an outbreak that could destroy the human borough, Mera is forced to work with Julian Smith, the man she used to love before the Night Prince came waltzing in her life.

Not good. Not good at all.

Meanwhile, Bast chases Poseidon with the help of his brothers, knowing it’s the only way to ensure Mera's safety. He’ll do anything to save her, even if it means his doom.

The dead are rising. And Poseidon is coming.

My Thoughts:
Book three is the busiest book of the series, so far! A mission to hunt the "big bad" Posideon separates Bast and Mera and sees Mera pairing back up with her former partner (Julian) to solve a case involving a necromancer. 

Separating Bast and Mera gave the book a different vibe from the others in the series and in bringing Julian back into the picture loose threads are resolved but not without some irritating (and completely unnecessary) relationship drama! Despite my irritation with the drama, it acted as the catalyst for Mera and Bast to sort themselves out and seals the deal on them as an official couple so I tolerated it with only minor outbursts. 

The story is another fast-paced one filled with death, chaos and major peril... There are huge reveals which will lead to an explosive series finale. I don't want to say more or I'll definitely spoil things for those intending to read but I'd guessed who the necromancer was before the "big reveal", I just didn't understand "how" it could be that person but it all made sense in the end!

A personal highlight of the story for me was how the events of book two had altered Bast's relationship with his brothers and how they really came through for him here...

All in all, I'm really looking forward to the conclusion of this series! So many questions. So many ways it could all go! 

A final point - I'm grumpy as fuck that I didn't know it wasn't a complete series going into it, and that I'd have a 9-12 month wait on the fourth and final book, but I'm sure it will be worth the wait!
(And since it's taken me so long to write this review, I only have a couple of months to wait now...)

*All books read in ebook format via Kindle Unlimited*


  1. I waited until all the Harry Potter books were published to read the series. A taste of a series is usually all I need. I read the first book...and that's it. Odd, I know.

  2. Looks like this was a solid series for you, even if it wasn't the UF series you expected.

  3. I'll have to try this one.... once the last book is out. Fantastic review!

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  4. I haven't binge read a series in so long. It makes me happy when people find one they like lol

    Honestly, I'm not great with elaborate world building so this sounds interesting to me.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  5. Sounds like a really good series. At least you don't have long to wait now for the next one.

  6. I'm so glad you mentioned that the world in these leans more into fantasy rather than UF. I've barely dipped my toes into UF but enough that I've learned I prefer a more real world setting. I'm so glad these worked so well for you! Sounds like a great start to the series!