I loved Vanessa Rasanen’s Aisling Sea trilogy, so when she revealed a new series set in the same world but with brand new characters, I was thrilled. Until the Stars Fall is the first novel in the Immortal Reveries series. Each novel in the series is standalone, however they are interconnected. Meaning that while you don’t need to read them all to understand the current story, characters from one will show up in the other with a larger plot that loosely connects them.
Disclaimer: I did receive Until The Stars Fall as an Advanced Readers Copy. Thank you Vanessa Rasanen so much for allowing me to read this before it came out! I can’t wait for this book to come out, so I can get a physical copy!
The last time a fae king took a human bride it started a war.
This time it could prevent one.
One of the few humans at the palace, Lieke has served the royal family her whole life, enjoying their protection from the fae who hate her kind. Unfortunately, nothing could protect her heart from falling in love with her best friend–the prince. Even if he returned her love, he could never marry a human, let alone a servant.
But holding onto her mother’s words that love can conquer all, she refuses to give up, no matter the costs.
As the crown prince, Connor is preparing to be king and doing his best to rebuild the king’s armies and neutralize a rebel threat. Tasked with also ensuring his younger brother ends his licentious ways and marries a neighboring princess, he thinks things can’t get any worse. Until a human servant–a woman he saved years ago–catches his brother’s eye and threatens to ruin everything.
When Lieke finds herself sentenced to death for murdering a fae noble, she’s shocked to see it’s the older brother—Connor—who steps in to save her. And not in the way she expected.
In a world jaded by war, where love is weakness, a fae prince finds himself torn between his desire to save his country and his growing love for a human. He can’t save both, but how can he choose between his duty and his heart?
- Published: February 13, 2024
- Page Count: 508 pages
- Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Thoughts on Until the Stars Fall
We heard of the War of Hearts through the fae characters in the first trilogy, but not how it affected the countries. Only that there was trouble brewing, and everyone was on their way to it. I genuinely thought the first book, Until the Stars Falls, would feature the original Aisling Sea trilogy characters. Instead, we’re introduced to Lieke, a human servant who was childhood friends with the youngest heir (Brennan) and has a huge crush on him, and Connor, Brennan’s older brother. However, we know right away that Brennan will not be swooping in to rescue Lieke. The prologue explicitly states that he will not be the love interest because he does not attempt to prevent his father from executing her. Instead, his brother does, which surprises Lieke. Not to mention that we’re provided alternate perspectives from Connor and Lieke, so if that isn’t a hint as to who the main couple is, I don’t know what is.
The story begins with events taking us three years in the past, however this is not revealed until later. Lieke is in love with Brennan and resolves to confess her affections to him on the night of a ball, when she is supposed to be hidden in her room for her own safety. She almost died because of this, but Connor saved her life. He sends her away to be trained by her mother’s family so she can protect herself and keep away from Brennan, who is supposed to be courting a princess from another kingdom.
This is where the time jumps occur. Each chapter, the length of time that passes stretches as Lieke trains with her cousins to defend herself and Brennan tries to get his brother in line and investigate attacks on the roads where Fae have been killed but there is no evidence as to what happened or what killed the individuals. This, combined with the previous antagonism between Fae and humans, is producing additional problems for the kingdom. When Lieke is finally allowed to go home, it’s the same week Brennan plans to propose to the princess, and she’s given knives that are lethal to immortals.
Lieke plans to confront Brennan at the engagement party to determine whether he really wants to go through with the proposal. However, he rejects her before the party. As she returns to her quarters, the person who previously tried to kill her appears determined to succeed this time. This is when the knives come into play; she used one in self-defense, only cutting him shallowly but killing him instantaneously. The guards quickly apprehend her and drag her before the King, Connor, and Brennan. The King sentences her to death and does nothing as she is carried away pleading with Brennan to help her. Connor, on the other hand, steps in and declares that they are engaged so that his father cannot have her killed.
So, that’s where the prologue meets the story. I’m not going to go into depth about what occurs next because that’s the rest of the book. And I don’t want to share spoilers. That part I didn’t think was considering it was the beginning portion and plot immediately revealed in the first few pages.
From there, we have a faux engagement in which Lieke believes Connor despises her and Connor believes she is still in love with his brother. Of course, they are both attracted to each other. And both are opposed to falling in love after witnessing how it affected their parents when one of them died. Connor lost his mother, and Lieke lost her father (then her mother), yet both watched how mates caused the other person to live a half-life after the loss. Something neither of them wants to go through. As a result, they resolve to keep the engagement strictly professional until Brennan marries. This means that there will be no kissing other than on the cheek, forehead, or nose when.
With the mounting tensions following Connor’s engagement to Lieke, and Brennan storming into her room drunk one night, Connor decides to take a tour of the villages throughout the kingdom to try to win over the people with Lieke. Or, more precisely, persuade them that the engagement is a good idea for both fae and humans. Of course, the fact that assaults continue to occur does not help. Especially when they don’t know who is behind them or what they are using. Only that the knives Lieke obtained from her relatives have attributes identical to those that killed the people on the road. However, because they are on tour, Connor and Lieke must share a room. So, while we have the one bed trope, it’s Connor as a wolfhound sleeping next to her.
That isn’t to say there aren’t any spicy scenes; there are, but they come much later. This is a slow-burning romance that ends in fated mates. And some miscommunication or rather lying between the characters, which I didn’t mind because it felt justified on both ends.
Overall, I enjoyed Until The Stars Fall. And the message behind the title is adorable, but I won’t give it away. While Lieke and Connor’s story is complete, it also sets up stories for other characters. I’m not sure who will get a book next, but I’m hoping Matthias does because he was a fascinating character.
Connor was protective and had a temper, while Lieke is stubborn and an optimist (though sometimes quite naive). So, in a way they were grumpy x sunshine.
I wish the magic system had been developed more, but we also didn’t have many characters with a lot of magic other than Connor’s ability to shapeshift. So, I can understand why we didn’t get much of that world building. And with the other characters that were introduced, I don’t think we’re going to see much of it in the future either.
Until The Stars Fall is loosely based on the movie Sabrina, but as I haven’t seen that Audrey Hepburn film, I can’t say how close it came. But I still really enjoyed this book. So, overall, I would give this book a 4.25 star rating. I’m docking a few points for Lieke being naive and far too trusting when she’s well aware that her life is in danger from the fae and she interprets Brennan’s quick glance as him wanting her to assist him break off his engagement. Especially as he previously rejected her. Also, the two haven’t spoken in years, and after she’s been gone for three years and he’s ready to get engaged to another woman, she suddenly believes he’ll call it off to be with her. And, yeah, he leads her on and kisses her before what happened at the party, but we later find that this was all a test to see if she was his mate. Not because he had romantic feelings for her. So, we have a lot of her moping around yearning after Brennan, despite the fact that we know he’s not end game. While that was a bit of a drag, it was also crucial for her story, and I believe Vanessa Rasanen pulled it off. So, yeah, knocking it down a little but overall I seriously enjoyed this book and can’t wait for the rest of the series.
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