97 points/100 (5 stars/5!)
Alert: Gushing Incoming
The Tufa have only exiled two of their own: Bo-Kate Wisby and her lover Jefferson Powell. They could no longer make music, could never come back, and all because they loved each other and killed some people they shouldn’t have. Is that really such a crime? Bo-Kate doesn’t think so, and she is back, determined to unite the town under one group and change it forever.
I actually never expected this book. I was loving this series before, now I can’t even deal with how much I love it. I just want to crawl inside and be a part of the story. Only, not really, because this series would be terrifying to live in. For real, please don’t make me go, I promise I’ll die if you try to make me.
This is the tale of a villain. I can tell you on exactly one finger how many series have wrote a villain into the primary character in a book with multiple points of view in it. I’ve seen it in short stories and novellas, sometimes. I’ve seen them as secondary characters to add perspective. Yet, I have never before seen the villain be the primary character in a book. It actually took me a while into this book, while I was trying to figure out who the main character was this time around before I finally realised it was actually the bad guy!
This is also the first book in the series where I realised just how dark this series is. The Tufa let themselves get away with quite a lot. The list of crimes Bo-Kate commits prior to the start of the series is extensive and horrendous. And the Tufa just kept letting her get away with it until they went one step too far and got exiled. Then, when she got back, the tally just keeps getting going up and up, and it is bad y’all. We’ve seen them get away with things before, one or two they didn’t want to deal with because of who, and what, they were to the Tufa. Even Bronwyn, our first protagonist, wasn’t exactly a person without sin. Now we see just how systemic the corruption goes. It isn’t a pretty site. Yet, somehow, it is perfectly fae. I love it.
Bo-Kate is trying to take advantage of the gap in leadership left after Rockhouse Hicks was taken down in the end of the last book. She sees there is a weakness, she doesn’t believe Mandalay or anyone else poses a threat to her, and she is going to take it. It helps that she just isn’t quite right. She will literally stop at nothing to get what she wants. She’ll kill anyone, do anything, fuck anyone. There is no end but her in control or dead.
The other major character in Long Black Curl is a little girl. We’ve met her before, she is the leader of one clan of the fae. Mandalay is only 12, and she has all these ability and Power, as well as all these memories. Yet, she is still only a kid, with kid desires. She is overwhelmed already, and then Bo-Kate comes along and is making it even harder. I feel for Mandalay. I liked her storyline a lot.
There is also a tertiary storyline involving a human musician that was in a plane crash decades ago and caught in fairy time. He just wants to get down the mountain and inform his family that he isn’t dead because he doesn’t want them to worry. Of course it is much too late. I was wondering where Bledsoe was going with this character most of the book, since he kept cropping up. This is the one time where I actually don’t exactly like where the story went. I’m not certain it added anything that wasn’t already brewing in the background already, and I just don’t like what happened.
This was such a powerful story. It took me places where I don’t actually get to venture often, and for that I can only give it the best of all my praise. I loved this so much, I didn’t want it to end, which is why I read it slower than I have read something in quite some time. Absolutely brilliant.