While in Ireland to attend her nephew’s christening, Grayce decides to go for a hike and falls into a village frozen in time by the fae. The village has existed out hidden in time for millennia, but through a twist of fate, the only outsiders to be allowed to see the village are the women who are transported there to become brides for the Village men. The whole thing is surreal and Grayce is left feeling confused and scared. Confused, because like all of her siblings, she possesses a supernatural ability–in her case, precognition. And scared because well… who wouldn’t be scared when they fall down a mountain and end up in a medieval village that you’re told you can never leave.
In this hidden place, she meets Brian who she she can’t help feeling drawn to. And the feeling is mutual. In fact, Brian is determined to win the competition for Grayce’s hand… but more than that he’s determined to restore his father’s good name. Grayce knows she shouldn’t get attached because she’s got a secret weapon in the form of a Fae relation.
But as time passes and no rescue comes, Grayce begins to fall more and more under the spell of the village and the people Hidden in Time.
This review has some spoilers.
Anyone see the huge, giant, problematic trope of doom in the summary above?
If you guessed kidnapped brides, then you’d be right. So look, I sometimes like this kind of story. But that is with the caveat that the kidnapped person (in this case most often the woman) has a way out. And the protagonist’s abduction is also generally a one time event. In this book, It’s really really not. Every single woman in this hidden village was stolen away from their home and people to be the bride of one of the men in this village.
The book explicitly states this. It’s super problematic and I had a really hard time wrapping my head around this concept once it was introduced.
It’s dubious consent. Straight up. For the majority of the book after the heroine arrives, there is no way for her to go back. And she doesn’t have any recourse but to marry somebody from the village. Basically the way the village works is when one of the men dies a woman falls through the veil into this village so that they can marry someone within the village and then bear a single son.
Not to mention that because the village was frozen in time in the third century A.D. there’s some fairly sexist overtones to this and from the hero. Like there’s a whole competition over who has the right to compete for the opportunity to woo Grayce. Like she’s an object. A prize to be won and displayed, not a person with feelings, family, and dreams.
The whole premise didn’t land well with me. And for part of the story I had a hard time believing the romance. And there’s a thing that happens later on that just has me scratching my head. Not to mention that the last third of the book moves really really really fast. It’s wholly not a bad per se. The characters are well developed including the side characters but there’s too many of them and that may be part of the problem. The beginning is really slow, the end is really fast. The romance is meh. There’s a lot of dubious consent, sexism, and a whole heap of problematic tropes.
The book also bills itself as time travel romance, and well, there’s no time travel. The village exists in this time, it’s just hidden by magic and sort of locked in 3rd century AD life (with some changes brought by the women). I felt cheated by that. Time travel is something very specific and this wasn’t it.
And while I finished this book, I don’t feel the need to get the next book in the series. This book shattered my trust in the author and considering how much I loved the first book in the series that’s saying something.
I’ve been waffling about what to give this, and ultimately I think I’m going to give this
If this is your jam, you can get it here.
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