Book Review: Stray by Elissa Sussman



3.5 stars

Aislynn is a princess awaiting her introduction ball. She’s been preparing for a long time to be introduced to the suitors chosen specifically for her, to fall in love, to have her happily ever after. She will follow the Path, she will not stray. But on the night of the ball, Aislynn finds her life going in a direction she never expected, never prepare for, and the magic burning in her is threatening her Path. She must not stray.

I really liked the concept of this book. It was an original fairy tale with a main character that I found myself having a lot of empathy for and ended up really liking. There were some parts that were predictable but still enjoyable.

At first I was a little worried I wouldn’t like Aislynn. Her blind devotion to the Path, obeying every word of her adviser and headmistress, the chants to help them stay focused, it all felt a little cult-like. But I did like her and the more she developed and grew as a character, the more I found myself liking her. I could understand her desperation to achieve a goal that had been set for her since pretty much birth(in this case her introduction ball), her frustrations at being bad at containing her magic, her desire to be good at a new goal given to her so she could prove herself.

Two other characters I really loved were Thackery, a gardener at the academy Aislynn is at, and Brigid, a maid at the same academy. Both were nice and had their own stories but also served as a way to help Aislynn see beyond her own little world. Another character, Ford, was also great and I kind of wish we’d gotten to see him a little more. Linnea, the princess Aislynn is supposed to become a fairy godmother for, was an interesting character. I’m still not quite sure how I felt about her. At times I really felt for her but other times I wanted to scream.

The world building was very intricate and it left me feeling like there was so much more that had yet to be told. We only saw one small part of this world that was created. From the series title and description, I’m guessing we’re getting more parts of the world in upcoming stories, which I’m definitely excited about.

The plot was a little slow in the beginning but I didn’t mind too much. It felt necessary to make us aware of the stakes and just how devastating the turn of events were for Aislynn. Once she arrived at her new academy and started interacting with the characters mentioned above, and some of the twists and discoveries began, it really picked up. There was a lot of action in the last part of the book.

I’m hoping(and guessing) that Aislynn’s story will tie into the other books in the series. It’s just going to be a long wait.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



Filed under books, reviews, ya books

5 responses to “Book Review: Stray by Elissa Sussman

  1. Whis looks like an interesting read. Great review 🙂

  2. flyingkororo

    I’m actually curious about this book. Glad I’ve read your review!

  3. Pingback: Comparing Before and After: Stray by Elissa Sussman | Overflowing Bookshelves

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