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Literary Friday: The Fairy Bargains of Prospect Hill by Rowenna Miller

Friday, August 25, 2023


Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!  Today I'm reviewing The Fairy Bargains of Prospect Hill by Rowenna Miller.  It was one of the five dollar specials at Barnes and Noble, and I bought it because I liked the premise of the story.

According to Goodreads:

"A warm-hearted yet fierce fairy tale."―H. G. Parry

In the early 1900s, two sisters must navigate the magic and the dangers of the Fae in this enchanting and cozy historical fantasy about sisterhood and self-discovery.

There is no magic on Prospect Hill—or anywhere else, for that matter. But just on the other side of the veil is the world of the Fae. Generations ago, the first farmers on Prospect Hill learned to bargain small trades to make their lives a little easier—a bit of glass to find something lost, a cup of milk for better layers in the chicken coop.

Much of that old wisdom was lost as the riverboats gave way to the rail lines and the farmers took work at mills and factories. Alaine Fairborn’s family, however, was always superstitious, and she still hums the rhymes to find a lost shoe and to ensure dry weather on her sister’s wedding day.

When Delphine confides her new husband is not the man she thought he was, Alaine will stop at nothing to help her sister escape him. Small bargains buy them time, but a major one is needed. Yet, the price for true freedom may be more than they’re willing to pay.

My Review

In this well-written novel, folks who live in the Prospect Hill community make little bargains with the Fae.  If they want to find something lost, they might leave the Fae a button and a ribbon.  The Fae take these small inconsequential items and remake them into something else entirely.  These little items help the Fae build their world.  It must be noted that these fairies are not friendly like Disney fairies: They are downright frightening and dangerous.  One should not mess with them, nor should they make bargains they can't fulfill.  Plus, language can be an issue as the Fae can twist it to their advantage in bargaining.

Although this novel is a fantasy about the World of the Fae, it also has elements of historical fiction.  The suffrage movement at first divides sisters Delphine and Alaine: Alaine runs for office in her local agricultural community, and Delphine, married to an industrial magnate, does not endorse the suffrage movement.  Delphine's husband is running for a city council seat, and he expects his wife to be supportive in the home through entertaining business and political allies.  Both sisters also differ in what they want out of life.  Alaine loves the farm and orchard of her childhood and never wants to leave;  Delphine wants to marry well and travel.  Older sister Alaine is disappointed in Delphine's choices, and she can't understand why Delphine doesn't want to stay.  Delphine, however, wants to escape her big sister's shadow.

What ends up uniting the sisters is a very dangerous bargain with the fairies on Alaine's Prospect Hill orchard.  Delphine's husband is abusive, and Alaine bargains for Delphine's escape.  Unbeknownst to Alaine, Delphine has also made a bargain that goes awry in a tragic way.  Both sisters must work together to figure out how to undo the bargain, yet one will have to travel beyond the veil to set things aright.

This story's pacing is very good, and it kept me turning the pages far into the night.  I really liked the world Rowenna Miller creates with the Fae: it's unique how they come into being.  The otherworldly setting and mood make The Fairy Bargains of Prospect Hill a worthy fantasy.  Delphine's transformation from victim to gritty heroine warms my heart.  Her fierce character will definitely stay with me for a long time.  

Have you read anything lately you'd like to share with us?  I'm always interested in book recommendations.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. Sounds like an interesting read. Happy Labor Day weekend. Hugs. Kris

  2. This really sounds charming! Happy weekend, Ricki Jill!


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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