Review: Dark Fae by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti

Five years before the events of the Zodiac Academy series, a different group of Fae at Aurora Academy have a story to tell. Elise Callisto is out for vengeance. After her brother Gareth Tempa was murdered by one of the four kings of Aurora Academy, Elise is determined to get her revenge. The only problem is that Aurora Academy has four kings: Gabriel Nox, Leon Night, Dante Oscura and Ryder Draconis.

These four guys rule the school and professors almost let them get away with anything. But getting near them could be dangerous, especially Dante and Ryder, who are going to become leaders of waring gangs upon graduation. Nothing is safe about this school and Elise has to accept that risk if she’s ever going to get answers.

While navigating Aurora Academy and trying to stay neutral between Ryder’s Lunar Brotherhood and Dante’s Oscura Clan, Elise is attempting an investigation to learn everything about Gareth’s time there. One that leads her to find a dangerous secret society that she’s sure Gareth belonged to last year. But infiltrating a groups willing to hurt people is easier said then done.

The only way for things to get more complicated: for Elise to develop feelings for the four guys she is supposed to investigate. And all four of them seem to have fallen for Elise quickly. But can she live with herself if she finds herself with the man who destroyed Gareth?

Set in Alestria, the roughest part of Solaria, Aurora Academy is a much different place then Zodiac Academy. While we’ve heard about this dangerous city and Aurora Academy before, we didn’t get an inside peak until we started reading Dark Fae.

First of all, we wanted to point out a few differences between the two series set in Solaria. 1. The Fae at Aurora Academy are less powerful. Everyone except for Gabriel only has one element. 2. It’s a lot less fancy. Almost everyone has multiple roommates, including Elise. To make things more complicated for Elise, two of her roommates are Gabriel and Dante.

Elise is an interesting character and we understood how her past made her tough. But she’s no Tory or Darcy and we didn’t connect with her right away. While we liked her, she became distracted too easily from her main goal. Give us more investigation! We’re completely intrigued by the mystery, but we needed to see more of it. Elise spent too much time getting close to the four kings.

As for the kings, they aren’t the Celestial Heirs. Maybe it’s unfair to compare them, but these are the Heirs are the four men we’re used to now. And the four kings aren’t nearly as ruthless, despite the title of the series.

Out of the four kings, Gabriel is our favorite. While he’s a little different when he’s younger, we appreciate his intense character growth from his time in school to when he shows up in Zodiac Academy 4: Shadow Princess. While Leon can be funny at times, he gets a little annoying and isn’t all that complex. We are intrigued by Dante and Ryder though. Both of the seem to have complicated backstories and we know before the end of the series, something dramatic has to happen with their two gangs.

Overall, we liked Dark Fae and plan to continue reading the Ruthless Boys of the Zodiac series. However, we recommend reading the Zodiac Academy series first. There’s much more world building in that series because you’re learning about Solaria with two changelings, Tory Vega and Darcy Vega. There’s not as much world building in Dark Fae because it almost feels like the reader is already expected to know everything about the Fae at this point.

We’re interested to see what happens in the second book, Savage Fae. Give us more mystery, intrigue and complex backstories. One thing to note for our readers: The Ruthless Boys of the Zodiac is a completed series with five books. You can binge-read this entire fantasy romance series right now.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

16 thoughts on “Review: Dark Fae by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti”

  1. Soooo even though these are kind of a prequel series of sorts, you recommend the Zodiac Academy first? Interesting! I haven’t read them yet, but I hear great things all the time on booksta. I didn’t even know there were additional series set in the same world. Fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like an interesting book even though it is quite different from the Zodiac Academy series. Also, it would be nice if this book did have more world building so you wouldn’t have to read the other series first.


  3. This sounds like an interesting book even though it is quite different from the Zodiac Academy series. Also, it would be nice if this book did have more world building so you wouldn’t have to read the other series first.

    Liked by 1 person

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