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I enjoyed this book, which I read because I saw a review/reading recommendation by a writer I follow on Facebook, quite a bit! I would have liked more detail about the main fairy character and their state of mind, like how they feel about themselves when they choose their gender one any specific day. But as it's the first in a series, there is plenty of time for that to happen! :) I also enjoyed the parts where stories about their adventurer's exploits are being written and sung by bards! I can't wait for the next books in the series!
This was a cute, interesting little treat of a story. It reminds me of a show that had a very enthusiastic fandom following and which is still receiving fond attention via fanfic. However, this isn't that, just reminiscent in some ways. Although, I would happily read more of this world and these two adventurers. The idea of giant snails amuses me, just as the pseudo-selkie does. Hopefully, the author will be inspired to do more with these characters, but for now I can happily say this was a nice little visit to a very intriguing place.
I actually avoided reading this one for a while, because just from the title it seemed like it'd be even more silly than Noone's usual novels. But it's sweet and short, and I really like the characters, and the descriptions of the fights, of the love making, of the village... The relationship between the two main characters is just warm and lovely, and I'll admit I would read a sequel.
That’s the thought that keeps going through my head about K.L. Noone’s The Snails of Dun Nas, which I finished reading a couple days ago, but that won’t leave me alone.
Not what you’d expect from a book that’s supposedly about giant killer snails, right? Well, it is and it isn’t.
Noone spins a magical sword and sorcery tale here, the first of a new series. The heart of the plot is a pretty standard mercenary tale — the swordsman/wizard (in this case a fae named Emrys) team answers the call to save a small town that’s being overrun by (and I don’t feel like this is too much of a spoiler here) snails as big as a human head.
Aric, the swordsman, is understandably annoyed that it’s not dragons – who wants ballads written about them and their fight with giant snails? But when he sees that Em wants to take the charge, he relents, and they’re off to the lake near the farmers’ fields to see what’s afoot. See? Standard mercenary stuff. And snails.
What sets this tale apart is the beautifully woven world Noon draws you into – a fantasized version of tenth-century Britain – and the magical, almost ethereal relationship between Aric and Emrys. Emrys is part fae, and on any given day may appear more masculine or feminine or even some combination genders. Aric loves Em in every form, and is worried that Em will leave him—that he’s not enough for the enchanting fae.
I adored the chemistry between these two, the awkwardness and banter and even their sexual exploits. Between snail-based adventures, there are two very different sex scenes here, given the changing nature of Em’s gender. But they both dip deep into the bonds that connect these two itinerant travelers, and both are effective at furthering what we know about these two and how they relate to one another.
Side note: Noone uses both “he” and “she” pronouns for Emrys, something she discusses in the afterword (which I recommend you read). But Em never feels trapped by his/her/their gender.
There’s a ton of backstory and worldbuilding here, all shuffled neatly into the narrative so that you hardly notice it, except that it provides a rich tapestry to hang the story on. All in all, it’s beautifully written. Such great beauty in the love between these two and in the crafting of this tale, and I’m just thrilled I got to enjoy it.
I’m also excited to hear that this is only the first of at least three stories following these two characters. Sign me up for the ride.
A complete delight from start to finish. I loved this medieval fantasy story, with the playful historical references providing context, as our couple was hired by those in need to engage in heroic quests to vanquish threats - including giant snails!
There was a gorgeous touch of Arthurian mystery to this, with the combination of knightly deeds and the power of magic winningly combined. What made this story so special was the loving bond between unfathomable half-faery Emric (whose otherness was described exquisitely) and unquestioning, utterly dependable Aric. I adored how their relationship deepened during their adventure. Utterly magical!